A seizure is the result of abnormal and sudden electrical activity in the brain that can be caused by a wide range of conditions. Seizures can be a symptom of an underlying acute medical or neurological condition, or they can lack a clear etiology (as in the case of epilepsy). The main goals of seizure management are to stop the seizure, protect the patient from secondary injury such as aspiration or trauma, evaluate for and treat potentially reversible causes, and provide safe, expeditious conveyance to hospital.
Seizures can be traumatizing for bystanders and family. First-time seizures are particularly disturbing.
Benzodiazepines are the first line therapy for active seizures.
Consider important causes of seizures:
Traumatic head injury
Drug overdose, intoxication, or withdrawal
Exposure to toxic substances
Infections and fevers, including infectious of the central nervous system
Care more specifically for the patient than the patient’s seizures
For women who are, or who may be pregnant, consider the role of eclampsia