AIIMS finds ways to handle epilepsy

Maintaining a seizure diary and providing your child with an exclusive identification card may help prevent damage in epileptic children, according to health experts.

“An ID card is a must for epileptic children. We have recently released some ID cards which has specific information on how to handle a child in case of a seizure attack,” said Dr Sheffali Gulati, additional professor chief, child neurology division of department of paediatrics, AIIMS.

“Simple tips like in which position the child should be placed in to prevent further damage or how to use a nasal spray, will help in early termination of seizures,” said Dr
Gulati.

“This will also help bring down mortality rate among epileptic children, as a lot of time is spent on calling for an ambulance and rushing the child to a hospital,” Dr Gulati added.

However, parents are often weary of giving the emergency ID card to a child while sending off to school, as epileptic children are often discriminated on the ground of her/his medical history.
The ID cards do have the instructions are mentioned at the back of it.

The ID cards and seizure diaries can be downloaded from the AIIMS website by any parent and used as a tool to handle emergency cases. The items are available in both Hindi and English.
Currently, very few parents are using ID cards. “The use of the ID cards still hasn’t picked up pace. Use of seizure diaries is more common,” said Dr Gulati.

Meanwhile, a seizure diary is required to regulate the treatment of children. Recording the frequency of the seizures is a must for what experts say “the optimisation of treatment”.

“I use it as a reference material for the number of attacks my child undergoes. It is easier for doctors to treat the child on the basis of it, as the drug dose can be regulated accordingly,” said Monisha Agarwal (name changed).

Earlier, doctors relied on parental memory to notice the pattern. The trend, however, is evolving.
“A seizure diary is very important to treat epileptic children. We need to know the frequency of the attack, the duration and brief descriptions.

In some cases, a seizure diary shows the pattern of attacks like factors such as bright light and lack of sleep,” said Dr Atul Prasad, senior consultant & director, department of neurology, BLK Super Specialty Hospital.

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