Fits and seizures

A seizure is a period of unconsciousness accompanied by a period of violent contraction of all muscles in the body. They are often associated with tongue biting and loss of bladder control and the sufferer may remain “sleepy” for up to an hour afterwards. During a seizure, the casualty cannot breathe and may become cyanosed or blue. This can be distressing to see, but they will soon return to a healthy colour once the seizure has passed. They can occur in people with epilepsy but occasionally following a sporting head injury.

Seizures and sporting head injuries can occur immediately at the time of head injury or later following the end of the match. Early seizures following a blow to the head are usually short lived of less than a minute. Casualties who have a seizure may have anything from a concussion to major head injury.

Late seizures (that occur after a period of the casualty being back to normal) are a worrying sign and suggest that the head injury is getting worse. For example, the seizure may be due to blood vessels bleeding around the brain and directly irritating the surface of it – causing the seizure.

Management of seizures

  1. Take control.
  2. Ensure an ambulance is on its way.
  3. Move all dangerous objects away from the casualty.
  4. Assess for DR ABC. Provide open airway for casualty until assistance arrives.