The Power of An Expert

Hi!  I'm Jake!

I was just talking to in Reddit who had a bad experience at work: their safety trainer was giving false information about seizures.  The trainer said that "9 times out of 10 someone having a seizure would vomit and urinate all over themselves." If you know anything about epilepsy, you know that's just ridiculous.  The person spreading that misinformation clearly didn't do their homework.  What does that have to do with safety anyway?

Worse yet, this fool was running a safety meeting. As an "expert," they were teaching people these ideas.  People were taking notes!

If I tell you that the moon will crash into Africa tomorrow, you'll realize I'm just some guy with a dumb idea.  If an expert from NASA tells you the moon is crashing into Africa tomorrow, shits' going to get crazy!  If you're an expert teaching people stuff, you have a responsibility to verify your information because you affect people's lives.

If you teach people there's going to be vomit and urine all over the place, how likely are they going to be to help someone having a seizure?  Nine out of ten people don't like vomit and urine.  What you say matters.

Callie and I were at a fundraiser in South Carolina called Hockey Heroes For Epilepsy. In between periods, I went out on the ice and performed 5 minutes of epilepsy awareness comedy for over 1500 people!  That was cool.

What wasn't cool is this this firefighter who came by our table. We asked him what he would do if he saw somebody having a seizure. He pulled out his wallet and said "I'll just shove this in her mouth." We told him that's not what you're supposed to do. But before we could tell him what you are supposed to do, he said that he didn't really want to know. He said if he saw someone having a seizure, he'd probably "just wait for an ambulance to show up and let those guys deal with it." Are you kidding me?!?!? This came from a firefighter! 

A firefighter is like a policeman or an EMT. They are there to respond in case of an emergency.  A firefighter is not only a trusted expert, when people are afraid, there are about four heroes on the planet we look to: a firefighter, an EMT, a cop, and our dad.  Those are the people that are supposed to be the good guys.  Sometimes cops aren't.  Sometimes our dads aren't.  But you're a firefighter!  You're supposed to be a hero!

If you see someone having a seizure, then here are some things I've learned that are really to do that will help immensely:
  • Lay them on their side.
  • So they don't hit their head, put something soft under their head like a folded jacket or a shirt.
  • Calmly tell the person having the seizure it's going to be okay.
  • Look to see if they have a medical bracelet.  If they do, there's probably a number on that bracelet.  Please call it. This will let their emergency contact know what is going on.  The emergency contact can also tell you what to do. This number is important to call than 911.  Please call this number first!
  • Tell everyone else to remain calm, back away, and give you both some space.
  • If you can, time the seizure. This is good information to give to any authorities or loved ones who show up.
  • If the seizure lasts more than 5 minutes, you need an ambulance.  If it doesn't, then it's probably a normal seizure.  
  • When the person having the seizure comes to, just remain calm.  Keep telling them it's okay. After a seizure, the person affected is disoriented.  This is called a post-ictal stage.  It's a rough transition.
  • After they start coming back to reality, offer to call a friend, a taxi, or some other ride so they can get home safely.
Here is some more first aid info from the epilepsy foundation:

It's easy to be an epilepsy hero. Get the facts.  Then tell people about them.  If necessary, act too. Thank you so much for reading this.  Having the right information about epilepsy makes all the difference: it could save a life!

Bye!  I'm Jake!