Prehospital Airway Suction Considerations for Seizures


Seizures are a standard emergency. First responders ceaselessly encounter febrile seizures in kids, epileptic seizures, and seizures resulting from mind anomalies akin to dementia or mind lesions. Typically, the seizure itself shouldn’t be harmful, however the medical situation that prompted it could be.


Furthermore, problems from seizures, akin to falls and vomiting that causes aspiration, might warrant emergency care. Not all seizure sufferers want airway administration, particularly if they’re respiratory tremendous on their very own, however right here’s what it’s essential know to keep up a patent airway and provides distinctive care to seizure sufferers.


Clearing the Airway: Choosing the Right Suction Strategy for the Right Patient 

When Is a Seizure an Emergency? 

Most individuals name 911 or search emergency care following a primary seizure or a very lengthy seizure, however a seizure shouldn’t be at all times an emergency. Most seizures resolve on their very own inside one-to-two minutes, and there aren’t any degree A- or degree B-quality evidentiary pointers for treating these seizures.


When arriving on the scene of a seizure, information-gathering is vital, together with: 


  • What occurred main as much as the seizure? 
  • Are there indicators of an overdose or head damage which may have prompted the seizure?
  • Are there secondary accidents, akin to a head wound or injured tooth, that warrant transport? 
  • May the seizure be an indication of an underlying illness course of, or does the individual have a historical past of seizures? 
  • Is that this a primary seizure for a kid?

Airway Suction Issues for Seizures 

First responders don’t have to routinely suction the airways of individuals having seizures, even when the seizure is very protracted. As a substitute, use bag-valve air flow for hypoventilation, and place the affected person in a cushty place that protects the airway. First responders ought to solely suction the airway whether it is occluded. This will likely occur if: 


  • An individual begins vomiting and aspirates. 
  • An individual chokes whereas consuming throughout a seizure. 
  • Bodily trauma causes the seizure and occludes the airway.

Different Seizure Interventions 

Another interventions that will stop severe problems in sufferers following a seizure embody: 


  • Verify blood glucose ranges in sufferers with diabetes or these suspected to have blood glucose points. 
  • Monitor pulse oxygen and supply nasal cannula oxygen as indicated. 
  • Assist the affected person stay in a protected place that protects the airway. 
  • Use bag-valve masks air flow for sufferers with ongoing respiratory despair. 
  • Administer anti-seizure drugs for extended or sophisticated seizures or in sufferers susceptible to severe problems. 
  • Study the affected person for seizure-related accidents akin to head accidents or damaged tooth. 
  • Monitor for indicators of depressed respiratory or adjustments in consciousness.


Be aware that almost all seizures don’t trigger severe problems or lingering results. Nonetheless, an individual experiencing a seizure for the primary time or a seizure that deviates from their common seizure sample must be transported for additional analysis. 


Particular Seizure Issues Throughout COVID

Quite a few emergency interventions enhance the danger of publicity to COVID-19. Giving supplemental oxygen, suctioning sufferers, and any process that generates aerosols are amongst them. First responders ought to solely use interventions which can be completely needed and for which there’s clear proof, particularly throughout a pandemic.


Do not forget that fevers are a standard set off for seizures in pediatric populations, and {that a} fever might also be an indication of COVID an infection. Follow aggressive hygiene and deal with all sufferers as if they’re COVID-positive, utilizing acceptable protecting tools and inspiring bystanders to keep up their distance.


Whether or not a affected person must be suctioned or not, having the appropriate instruments available allows you to promptly are likely to their wants if their situation deteriorates. Notably within the case of a protracted seizure, the airway might collapse out of the blue, or vomiting might make respiratory not possible. The fitting moveable machine ensures you possibly can deal with sufferers promptly with out shifting them and delaying care. For assist choosing the appropriate suction machine to your company, obtain our free information, The Final Information to Buying a Transportable Emergency Suction System.


Editor’s Be aware: This weblog was initially printed in September 2020. It has been re-published with further updated content material.


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