What Medical Flight Paramedics should Know about Seizures and Respiratory Issues

As a medical flight paramedic, you will come across different situations and patients with various conditions. You might even come across patients undergoing a seizure, in which case you will need to carry out immediate and correct intervention to improve the patient outcome. Many seizure patients will even encounter respiratory issues, making the situation even more critical. This post will help you find out some useful facts about seizures and the accompanying respiratory issues.

Assessment Process for Seizure Patients

Seizures often last for only a few minutes and by the time you arrive on scene, the patient might be unconscious or in a postictal phase. But sometimes, seizures may last more than 20 minutes or even recur before the patient becomes conscious again. These cases are life-threatening and are known as status epilepticus.

Medical flight paramedics should carry out the following assessment steps for seizure patients:

  • Determine the duration of the seizure and how many seizures they have had
  • Determine whether or not the patient had regained consciousness after each seizure
  • Try to determine the underlying cause of the seizure – any medical condition, injury, or trauma that could result in it
  • Enquire about any complaints the patient had before the seizure

Airway Management Tips for Medical Flight Paramedics

When carrying out airway management for seizure patients, protecting the upper airway is crucial. You will also need to administer high-flow oxygen and ensure proper ventilation. In case a patient is still seizing or positical, you need to use a non-rebreather mask to administer oxygen and set it at 12-15 liters per minute.

Additionally, stopping the seizure is crucial to ensure proper airway management. So if the patient is still actively seizing you might need to consider administering anti-seizure medication because seizures that last more than 5 minutes might not stop unless you intervene.

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