Epilepsy Awareness: Seizure Recognition and First Aid Program
November 1 marks the beginning of Epilepsy Awareness Month across the U.S. Cook Children's Jane and John Justin Neurosciences Center makes this month a priority each year to raise awareness for this common, yet rarely discussed condition. Epilepsy affects 1 in 26 people during their lifetime and 3.4 million people currently live with active epilepsy in the U.S. Throughout November, landmarks across Fort Worth will light the skyline purple, the official color of epilepsy awareness. In addition, the Neurosciences team has planned a number of initiatives this year to increase awareness and improve care for people with epilepsy.
In 2020, the Epilepsy Foundation of America launched its Seizure Recognition and First Aid program to teach people how to recognize the signs and symptoms of seizures and provide basic seizure first aid. Similar to basic life support training and CPR, this course provides the skills necessary to recognize and help a person having a seizure. Cook Children's has incorporated this program into our faculty/staff educational offerings and aims to train all staff in these essential skills. The goal? To ensure our campus is a safe place for people with epilepsy. To date, every Neurosciences inpatient staff member has completed the training, and initiatives are now underway to train outpatient staff and other medical center employees. The program also will be offered throughout the year for patients with epilepsy and their families, so they too can acquire these essential seizure first aid skills. Anyone is eligible to complete this training and can access the program through the Epilepsy Foundation by visiting their webpage.
Neurosciences Grand Rounds will welcome Dara V.F. Albert, D.O., MEd, a pediatric neurologist from Nationwide Children's, to present on functional neurological disorders/psychogenic nonepileptic seizures in November. These conditions can be some of the most difficult to treat, due to lack of understanding and collaborative management between neurologists and psychiatrists. Dr. Albert will share her experiences treating these complex conditions and provide insight into best practices when caring for children with these conditions. This lecture also will serve as an introduction to the Functional Neurological Disorders program, a collaboration between Cook Children's Neurology and Psychiatry scheduled to start in early 2021.
Finally, the Cook Children's campus will have a new “#1 in 26” statue to raise awareness throughout the month. We invite everyone to take their picture with the statue showing their support for epilepsy awareness. Whether you are the 1 in 26 with epilepsy or you're one that cares for, researches, advocates or supports the 1 in 26, we want you to show it!