Seizures and Shock
Seizures and Shock
Both seizures and shock are serious medical conditions that should always be treated as a medical emergency. Prompt treatment is essential. It’s important to know the symptoms of these conditions and how to respond if suspect a person is dealing with a seizure or shock.
What are Seizures?
Seizures occur when there’s an abrupt change in the normal electrical activity of the brain. When a seizure occurs, the brain cells begin to uncontrollable fire at several times their normal rate, which can affect the way an individual feels, thinks, moves, or behaves temporarily. Primary generalized seizures affect the entire cerebral cortex and the abnormal firing of the brain cells takes place on both sides of the brain. With partial seizures, the abnormal firing starts in one area of the brain and stays in that region.
Various conditions may affect the brain, triggering a seizure, such as:
- High fevers
- Injury to the brain
- Abnormalities in the blood vessels of the brain
- Metabolic issues
- Genetic problems
- Drinking or eating toxins
- Idiopathic (commonly, no reason is found at all)
Symptoms of Seizures
The symptoms of a seizure vary depending on the type of seizure. However, some of the symptoms that may be present with a seizure include:
- Muscle rigidity or stiffness
- Jerking, sporadic movements
- Repetitive jerking movements
- Loss of muscle tone
- Brief loss of consciousness
- Blank staring or quick blinking
- Loss of awareness or unresponsiveness
When to Seek Emergency Care for Seizures
It’s important to ensure anyone who has a seizure for the first time receives prompt medical care. Emergency care is also needed if:
- The seizure lasts for more than several minutes
- An injury is sustained during a seizure
- The individual doesn’t return to his or her normal state once the seizure is over
- An individual has multiple seizures
- Any new or first-time seizure
What is Shock?
Shock occurs when the organs are not getting the blood and oxygen that they need to function properly. This life-threatening condition has the potential to result in organ damage, and if left untreated, it can grow rapidly worse. Shock may occur as a result of blood loss, severe infections, severe burns, heatstroke, trauma, allergic reactions, poisoning, and various other causes.
Symptoms of Shock
Depending on the type of shock and the specific cause of shock, the symptoms generally include one or more of these symptoms:
- Profuse sweating and moist, clammy skin
- Bluish fingernails and/or lips
- Faintness, lightheadedness, or dizziness
- Pale, cool skin
- Shallow breathing
- Agitation or anxiety
- Weak, rapid pulse
- Enlarged pupils
- Changes in behavior or mental status
- Nausea and/or vomiting
- Fatigue or weakness
Emergency Care for Shock
If someone has the symptoms of shock, it’s important to call 911. Lay the individual down, elevating their feet and legs unless you believe doing so may result in further injury. Never let someone in shock drink or eat anything. Shock can result in permanent organ damage or death, so it should always be treated as a medical emergency.
Pinnacle ER provides the services and diagnostic tools needed to care for individuals suffering from seizures or patients in shock. Call 911 or visit Pinnacle ER as quickly as possible if these medical issues occur in someone you love.