She Would Have Died Of Seizures Without Us Ever Knowing…

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Being part of the paramedic staff in my university was an enthralling experience.

Every other day we would receive an emergency call and we would rush to the scene of some injury like blood-hungry hounds, with our first aid kits ready to patch up all wounds.

One day that I still particularly remember, after 4 years, is the night of 12th December, 2012 when we first met Eshal.

It was raining cats and dogs and we four friends were camping in our first aid office with hot cups of coffee. It was supposed to be a quiet night with all university students gone on holidays. Half-past ten, the PTCL in our office starts ringing and as a second nature, we instantly picked it up, hoping for an opportunity to help someone through the heavy rain pour.

A stammering girl mentioned something about a girl flipping off her chair and losing consciousness.  As soon as we reached the first floor of the female hostels…

the skinny, pale girl was lying face flat on the floor and seizing…

I quickly kneled at her head, placed her head cautiously on a piece of towel beneath her neck and held it firmly. Keeping the head still of a seizing patient can seriously save grave injuries to the backbone passing through the neck.

When her seizures were over, we measured her pulse using the index finger on her wrist, below the thumb. It was 60 beats per minute. Lower than normal and her body was cold. We covered her up with a shawl and prepared to move her downstairs for transporting her to the hospital. Before we were even kneeled on her sides to pick her up, she started seizing again. This time I removed all her first aid bags from around her and one of my fellow MFR (Medical First Responder) held her head firmly, like before.

It is important to ensure that the seizing patient is not held down and they are allowed to convulse, otherwise the chances that they might break a bone increase tremendously.

The area around the patient should be immediately cleared so that they do not hurt themselves by colliding into any furniture. If the equipment is immovable, then move the patient very carefully when the seizures tone down or completely stop.

As soon she stopped seizing for the second time, I opened her mouth by placing two fingers on her chin to see if her tongue hadn’t rolled back. Indeed it had.

After wearing my hand gloves, I used my little finger to swipe the tongue back up, else she would have choked and died without us ever knowing.

Her airway was now clear and she could breathe.

But the adventure wasn’t over. She seized 12 times that night, making her transportation to the dorm room extremely difficult. Finally using the spine board RESCUE 1122 team had brought, we placed her and strapped her and quickly moved her to the ambulance. Within 5 minutes, we reached the nearby hospital and she was taken to neuro-consultant.

Seizures are our body’s way of telling us that something might not be working right in our brain and the little wires (neurons) that carry its message to other parts of the body. The reason for having seizures range from being genetic to environmental. Eshal had been negligent of her diet and food was never the priority for her. She would go through the day without any nutrition and rely on soft drinks for her stomach tumbled.

Diet is the most important thing that can save us from hundreds of diseases. Never have your children take both the importance and the need of food lightly. A well-balanced diet can turn you around from the road to death, be wise and eat properly! Take good care of yourselves, always.

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Norin Chaudhry

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