One year ago today, Hannah had a febrile seizure. At the time, we didn’t know a lot about it, so I wanted to write a post to share our experience.
Hannah had been acting completely normal all day. She seemed to be teething a bit and was slightly warm, so I gave her a dose of ibuprofen before bed. A couple hours later, we heard her make a strange noise, sort of a groan. Brett went to check on her and immediately called for me. As soon as I saw her, i could tell she was having a seizure. Her body was rigid and shaking, and her eyes were glazed-over.
This was the scariest moment of my entire life.
I had a flashback – when I was a preschool teacher, I had to take CPR classes which included seizure training (more on this later). I put her on the floor while Brett called 911. An ambulance and a firetruck were in front of our house in about four minutes! The seizure had stopped well before then, so in that time I packed the diaper bag with anything I thought we’d possibly need for several hours in the emergency room.
The paramedics came in and put a tiny oxygen mask on her and told us that febrile seizures are caused by a fever spike. There are no lasting effects, and they are unlikely to happen again. But they told us we did the right thing by calling 911 since it was her first seizure and needed to be accurately diagnosed.
Hannah was strapped on the giant stretcher, clutching Bo (her blankie), and we got to go on our first (and hopefully last) ambulance ride.
By the time we got to our room in the Dell Children’s Hospital ER, Hannah was back to her normal self (plus tired and bored). The doctor checked her out and ran some tests in an attempt to identify an infection that may have caused the fever. All the tests came back normal, so we think it must have been caused by the teething.
We got to leave at 12:30, as in midnight, after 2 1/2 hours which I hear is pretty good for the ER. Hannah was exhausted and slept for most of the next 36 hours.
There is a possibility she could have another febrile seizure, but the likelihood decreases as she gets older. We are very careful about her being outside when it’s hot, and we don’t mess around with fevers. If we are going to be away from her for a length of time, we like to be sure that whoever is with her is knowledgeable about seizure response.
So, you never know when someone around you could have a seizure; be informed! Some general guidelines are:
- turn the person on their side if you are able
- clear the area of hard items
- put something soft under the head if you are able
- do not restrain the person or try to hold them down
- do not try to put anything in their mouth
- pay attention to the length of the seizure
So now you know. And knowing is half the battle. (yes, I put that in for you, Brett)