Seizure Disorders

Seizures are classified according to several different criteria.  Partial seizures begin focally with a specific sensory, motor or psychic aberration that reflects the affected part of the cerebral hemisphere where the seizure originates.  Generalized seizures usually affect both consciousness and motor function from the outset.  The seizure itself frequently has a genetic or metabolic cause.  The most dramatic type of seizure is the “grand mal” and the less sever, although still serious, is the “petit mal” seizure.  Seizures result from imbalances in the electrical activity of the brain.  Students with seizure disorders are sometimes reluctant to divulge their conditions because they fear being misunderstood or stigmatized.

The Office of Disability Support Services will notify the professor of a student in his/her class with a seizure (assuming one has been disclosed).  In the event a seizure should take place in the classroom, call the University Police, then follow the step suggested below:

  • REMAIN CALM.  Ease the person to the floor and open the collar of the individual’s shirt.  You cannot stop the seizure.  Let the seizure run its course and do not try to revive the person.
  • Remove hard, sharp or hot objects which may injure the person but do not interfere with the student’s movement.
  • Do NOT force anything between the teeth.
  • Turn the student’s head to one side for release of saliva.  Please something soft under the head.  This will prevent injury caused by the head striking a hard surface.
  • Make sure that breathing is unobstructed but do not be concerned if breathing is irregular.
  • When the student regains consciousness, orient him/her to the surroundings.  Let the student rest, if desired.
  • If the seizure lasts more than a few minutes, or if the person seems to pass from ne seizure to another without regaining consciousness, call for medical assistance at once.  This rarely happens, but if it does, should be treated immediately.
  • Frequently, those who experience a “grand mal” seizure lose control of body functions.  In order to avoid as much embarrassment as possible, the student should be covered.
  • Do not ignore the other students in the class.  Let them know what is happening and that the student will be up and about in a short period of time.  Deal with the concerns of the class.
  • Basic information and activities missed while the student was incapacitated should be made available.  It is the student’s responsibility to initiate arrangement for making up missed assignments and tests.  A student may have to leave the classroom early and unexpectedly.  Again, the student is accountable for missed materials and work.