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Convulsion can affect children and adults, women and men. Convulsion can be due to varying disease conditions – epilepsy, meningitis (infection of the coverings of the brain), encephalitis (infection of the brain), eclampsia (convulsion due to hypertension in pregnancy), head injury, cerebral malaria, hypoglycaemia (low blood sugar level) etc.

Apart from epilepsy in which the patient is already known with the condition and may have been on treatment, other conditions are emergency conditions that require urgent attention.

Prompt presentation after the onset of this illness helps prevent associated complications.   

What to do before getting to the hospital?

When you meet somebody convulsing, the first thing to do is to remove any object which may injure the patient around the place. Then, allow the convulsion to stop.

After this, place the person in left lateral position and quickly rush him / her to the nearest hospital. Things that should not be done for somebody convulsing include the following: 

  1. Do not forcefully hold the person to stop the convulsion. He or she may sustain bone fracture from such exercise. Convulsion is usually self-limiting; it will stop on its own.
  2. Do not insert anything (spoon, iron, etc) in the mouth of the person to prevent clenching of the teeth. The person’s teeth may get uprooted or severe damage done to the mouth and tongue during the process.
  3. Do not pour hot water on the person or insert his or her legs or arms inside fire (as done in some cultures) to ‘drive away the evil spirit tormenting him or her’. This action has led to severe burns injury to the affected persons.
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