Common Seizure Myths

This Article was featured in HALA Magazine
Okay people, how about we play a little game of True or False. Here is what we want to find out: how correct are you about seizures? Should you place a spoon in the mouth of someone convulsing? What would be your first reaction if you saw a pregnant woman convulsing? Do you really… think much differently from your Grandma in the village?
Here we go…
  • Seizures are contagious…………. SO FALSE

A disease is said to be contagious when it is transmissible from a person to another either by direct or indirect contact e.g. via clothing. Seizures are endogenous in origin with its primary cause occurring within the brain, neither is it an infective process such as in a bacterial or viral infection, hence, it is not air-borne either. You cannot contact a seizure disorder by touching someone having a seizure any more than you can with someone down with malaria!

  • Place a spoon in the mouth of someone having a seizure attack to prevent him/her from swallowing the tongue……SO FALSE

In the first place, it is not even possible to swallow your own tongue. Granted, during a generalized convulsion the person may sustain minor bruises from bites to the gums but you are much more likely to create worse injuries in attempt to force hard objects into their mouth, not to mention that you could get your finger eaten- sorry bitten.(see next page for 1st aid guide).

  • Drinking your urine can cure your seizure disorder…………….SO FALSE

Nothing could be further from the truth! There is ABSOLUTELY no basis, no link whatsoever with the urine-waste products containing mainly nitrates generated through your kidneys, to be swallowed into your digestive system in hope of some cure to a brain pathology. The nitrates alone are tremendous harm but let’s simply summarize it this way, urine is a God-made waste product of the body!

  • Convulsions in a pregnant woman is a very bad omen…………SO TRUE

As a matter of fact, it is life threatening and regarded medically as an emergency hence attempt must be made to deliver the baby ASAP possibly by an emergency caesarian section if she has not actively progressed in labour. This is because unlike in other cases, convulsion in pregnancy is caused by an entirely different mechanism- it is a very late complication of uncontrolled hypertension in pregnancy. There are records of sequel like blindness.


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