HOW WE DIAGNOSE A SEIZURE AND DECIDE WHAT IT WILL MEAN FOR YOUR CHILD: JANE’S CASE STORY

Jane is thirteen years old, and the nurse is cleaning her arm with alcohol in preparation for taking the blood tests ordered by her physician. The nurse takes out the syringe and needle and Jane says, “Wait a minute, I don’t feel well.” She looks pale and sweaty, then collapses in the chair. She stiffens and has jerking of her arms and legs that lasts perhaps a minute. Was that a seizure? “Yes,” the physician says. “That is what is called ‘convulsive syncope.’ Jane fainted, just as many people faint when blood is taken. In some people, fainting is enough to trigger a brief seizure. It’s nothing to worry about. She’ll be fine.”
That diagnosis was easy. Jane’s seizure occurred because of fainting. The episode was witnessed from the start by people trained to observe carefully. They heard Jane say she didn’t feel well. They saw her become pale and sweaty before losing consciousness. It was clear to them that Jane fainted and then had a seizure. The episode occurred in a situation where fainting is not uncommon. But suppose Jane had been sitting in the hot sun with her friends at a baseball game when the episode occurred? Could she have been drinking beer or taking drugs? Would her friends have noted the paleness and sweating before she fainted, became stiff, and had the brief jerking movements? If they hadn’t noticed the fainting and had only seen the jerking, your doctor might not have known why the seizure occurred and would have been concerned that it might recur. He could not have been as confident in saying that it was convulsive syncope.
*17\208\8*

HOW WE DIAGNOSE A SEIZURE AND DECIDE WHAT IT WILL MEAN FOR YOUR CHILD: JANE’S CASE STORYJane is thirteen years old, and the nurse is cleaning her arm with alcohol in preparation for taking the blood tests ordered by her physician. The nurse takes out the syringe and needle and Jane says, “Wait a minute, I don’t feel well.” She looks pale and sweaty, then collapses in the chair. She stiffens and has jerking of her arms and legs that lasts perhaps a minute. Was that a seizure? “Yes,” the physician says. “That is what is called ‘convulsive syncope.’ Jane fainted, just as many people faint when blood is taken. In some people, fainting is enough to trigger a brief seizure. It’s nothing to worry about. She’ll be fine.”That diagnosis was easy. Jane’s seizure occurred because of fainting. The episode was witnessed from the start by people trained to observe carefully. They heard Jane say she didn’t feel well. They saw her become pale and sweaty before losing consciousness. It was clear to them that Jane fainted and then had a seizure. The episode occurred in a situation where fainting is not uncommon. But suppose Jane had been sitting in the hot sun with her friends at a baseball game when the episode occurred? Could she have been drinking beer or taking drugs? Would her friends have noted the paleness and sweating before she fainted, became stiff, and had the brief jerking movements? If they hadn’t noticed the fainting and had only seen the jerking, your doctor might not have known why the seizure occurred and would have been concerned that it might recur. He could not have been as confident in saying that it was convulsive syncope.*17\208\8*

Share and Enjoy:
  • Digg
  • Sphinn
  • del.icio.us
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Reddit
  • StumbleUpon
  • Twitter
  • Yahoo! Bookmarks

Random Posts

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.