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A member asked:

My girlfriend just had a seizure and has never had any medical problems. what should we do? she had just came out of the tanning bed which is normal for us and sat down in the lobby and starting shaking and turned white and her eyes roled back into her he

2 doctor answers2 doctors weighed in
Dr. Herbert Krob
Neurology 31 years experience
Events : Events involving loss of consciousness can include syncope (fainting) and seizure. Syncope ("sin-co-pee") happens when blood flow to the brain is not enough for the brain's needs. This is frequently caused by low blood volume due to dehydration, the effects of medication, or other causes. Some patients who experience sycope can have trembling movements of the limbs, known as convulsive syncope. Often, this is accompanied by pallor (turning "white"). Epileptic seizures, which can also cause involuntary shaking of the limbs, are caused by abnormal electrical activity in the brain. Seizures are usually more complicated than syncopes. There is often a clear beginning, middle and end to seizures. Seizures seem to start small, sometimes as turning of the head to one side or shaking of one hand. The middle of a seizure may involve arching of the back and stretching out of the limbs, synchronous shaking of the limbs, grunting, and usually the person's face gets red, not white. The end of a seizure is usually longer than a syncope: after a seizure people can be confused and groggy for many minutes. Whether caused by a seizure, a syncope, or another cause, losing consciousness is a major neurological issue and should be evaluated immediately. Many states restrict the driving privileges of a person who has had a loss of consciousness. After experiencing an unexplained loss of consciousness, it is a good idea to avoid any activity requiring constant consciousness for safety of self or others. By the way... Tanning, whether in the sun or on a tanning bed, causes immediate and irreversible breakdown of the structures in the skin that give it its flexibility (leading to premature skin aging), and is the most common preventable cause of skin cancers that lead to permanent damage to the appearance of the skin and which can even be deadly.
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Dr. Douglas Miller
Pathology 43 years experience
Let : Let me reinforce dr fowler's answer: get to an emergency room promptly, best by calling 911 and having trained emts take her there. A new seizure when an adult has never had one before needs a prompt and thorough evaluation, to make sure there is no emergency condition requiring some kind of intervention right away, and to get her on medication to try to prevent any more seizures from occurring.
Created for people with ongoing healthcare needs but benefits everyone.
Last updated Oct 4, 2016

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