The Epilepsy Foundation, Landover, Md., has called for the universal adoption of protocols and training requirements for emergency medical responders in identifying patients with epilepsy.
"Incidents of people harmed by an aggressive response to seizures appear to be on the rise," said Gregory Barkley, M.D., director of the epilepsy program at the Henry Ford Health System in Detroit and chairman of the Epilepsy Foundation's professional advisory board, in a press statement. "Better training without the use of forcible restraint and the imposition of universal standards for all personnel handling people having seizures is an absolute must."
People experiencing a seizure or who just had one should not be forcibly restrained because such restraints could injure them, according to the Epilepsy Foundation's protocols. Those responding to 911 calls sometimes are faced with a tough decision about restraints when they encounter a person who appears to be belligerent or exhibiting behaviors that may be drug related, said Peter Van Haverbecke, the foundation's spokesman. "So we're asking them to step back and consider whether this might be epilepsy," Van Haverbecke said.
For more information, visit the foundation's Web site.