What should you do when faced with an epileptic seizure? Stay calm, protect the affected person and alert emergency services. The teachers of a school in Biccari, in the province of Foggia, experienced this dramatic experience first-hand, managing to save the life of a 6-year-old girl who was left unconscious while she was at school. She complained of stomach ache, she went to the bathroom and collapsed on the floor in spasms, without then regaining consciousness.

Epileptic seizure, how to recognize it and intervene

“They were excited, difficult moments, but we tried to stay calm and precisely follow everything that Dr. Tamara Cirillo from the 118 operations center advised us to do,” said one of the teachers, Annarita Tetta, who practiced some maneuvers learned during the pediatric Blsd course. “The little girl vomited, but she did not regain consciousness.” Despite everything, the procedures allowed her to be kept alive until the arrival of the air ambulance, averting the worst.

Today the little girl is well, but “she was only saved by the timely intervention of school staff, as she had serious respiratory failure caused by the epileptic seizure”, explains Professor Federico Vigevano, head of the Department of Developmental Disabilities of the San Raffaele Group of Rome. “It is a disease that takes us by surprise – underlines the neurologist –, characterized by the persistent predisposition of the brain to generate epileptic seizures. More than 50% of epilepsies begin in childhood. Educational and information campaigns are of vital importance and should be part of the mandatory training of educators and school workers.” But what is epilepsy? Vigevano explains to us what the causes are, how to recognize it and above all what absolutely must not be done to avoid worsening the situation.

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