Epilepsy Classes are Conducted in San Jose, CA.

Doctors, nurses, dentists taking CPR class with American Heart Association

American Heart Association CPR Training class for medical professionals

Teaching others about Epilepsy Awareness is an important thing—not only during Epilepsy Awareness Month, but at all times.  Many people still live under many incorrect assumptions about epilepsy, and those things need to change. The American Heart Association has developed the Heartsaver First-aid course which overs what to do when someone suffers from a seizures. These courses are taught all over the USA and in San Jose.

First, epilepsy is far more common than people think.  There are more than three million cases, and climbing right now, with one hundred fifty thousand cases being diagnosed every year.  Sadly, deaths in the epileptic population due to Sudden Death Due to Epilepsy (SUDEP) run as high as seventeen percent each year.

There are a variety of factors that can contribute to SUDEP—age, IQ, even race and sleeping position.  However, more research needs to be done to help combat this disease.  Research though requires several things that epilepsy does not have: positive attention, and enough research money.

Epilepsy has been around since before the time of Christ, and sufferers of the disorder have been thought to be possessed with demons.  Many have been made fun of in school, or called idiots or daydreamers, when in reality they were having a seizure.  Still to this day, there is such a stigma that many people with epilepsy refuse to talk about having it openly.

Making people properly aware of what to do, how to act and how to support a person with epilepsy is important—especially during November, which is Epilepsy Awareness Month.  Here are some things to know when dealing with seizures of any type.

REMAIN CALM.  This is important for any seizure.  If you are dealing with someone having an absence or partial seizure, they may not be responsive at first.  For this reason, they may become combative, so stay calm no matter what.

MOVE THINGS OUT OF THE WAY.  This is important, too, especially when the epilepsy patient is wandering around, out of it, or about to fall to the ground into a tonic clonic (grand mal) seizure.  Moving things, especially sharp objects, will minimize injuries.

LET THE SEIZURE RUN ITS COURSE.  If the absence or partial seizure is taking place standing up, DON’T force the patient to sit down.  This will cause more problems if you do.  If the tonic clonic seizure is taking place, turn the patient on their side, loosen any clothing, take off their glasses and shoes, and turn their head to the side as well. DO NOT stick ANYTHING in their mouth.

ONCE THE SEIZURE HAS RUN ITS COURSE.  Stay with the patient, and talk to them calmly, but quietly, to let them reorient themselves.  It may take them a while to do so.  Patients that have a tonic clonic seizure may very well go back to sleep, and stay asleep for up to twenty four hours.


During Epilepsy Awareness Month, things like how to deal with a seizure will be taught to everyone that can possibly be reached.  At the same time, though, the need to raise research money will be brought up, too.  There are a several foundations just to support epilepsy, however, they need patrons to support them.

Susan Axelrod along with two other mothers of epileptic children founded the CURE Foundation.  The goal of the CURE Foundation is to raise money specifically for research for epilepsy.  Susan, does have an extra “gun” in her arsenal if you will—her husband is David Axelrod, President Barack Obama’s senior advisor.

As parents to Lauren, Susan and David Axelrod went through the pain of seeing their daughter Lauren seize day in and day out because there weren’t medications to control her.  Surgery didn’t help either.  More research was and is, badly needed.  Lauren will live in a special home the rest of her life, but has finally found a medication that works—for now.

Thus was born the CURE Foundation—and a way to make the need for this disorder’s need for research money more prominent.  The Axelrods are the spokesmen, if you will, for epilepsy that Michael J Fox and Muhammad Ali are for Parkinson’s disease.  Yet, combine Parkinson’s with multiple sclerosis, and cerebral palsy—and there are still more cases of epilepsy out there!  Yes, more research money is desperately needed!

On Oct 25, 2009, the Axelrods were interviewed by Katie Couric on 60 Minutes about their daughter, Lauren and the CURE Foundation.  The interview and its results were fascinating.  With Epilepsy Awareness Month coming up, be sure to try to watch that episode, and to help out your local epilepsy support chapter.  You’ll be glad you did.

For more information about learning about seizures and other life threatening emergencies, please take an American Heart Association Heart Saver First-aid course. Be prepared.

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