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A seizure is characterized by uncontrolled muscle spasms or convulsions, often caused by abnormal electrical activity in the brain. Seizures can be isolated events or a recurring condition.
Epileptic seizures are associated with a change in electrical activity. Nonepileptic seizures do not involved such a change. The most common types of seizures are partial, petit mal, and grand mal.
Dignity Health extends compassionate care to treat a wide array of seizures in Arizona, as part of our neurological and emergency services. To learn more, Find a Doctor. If you need emergency care for a seizure, call 9-1-1.
The symptoms of seizure depend on the type. Once a seizure has passed, the person may be fatigued or weak, or have changes in behavior and mood.
Seizure symptoms are as follows:
You should call 9-1-1 if any of these seizure-related events occur:
If you need to go to the ER, use our InQuicker™ online tool by selecting your estimated hospital arrival time. Upon arrival and check-in, you will see a doctor who will assess your situation and determine the next appropriate level of care.
The most common causes of seizures include:
To learn more about the causes of seizures, meet with a skilled neurologist at Dignity Health.
In the event of a seizure, try to protect the person from injury. Most seizures stop on their own, typically within 30 seconds to two minutes.
In a hospital or outpatient care setting at Dignity Health, care for a seizure may start with testing to help the doctor make a diagnosis. The doctor will evaluate symptoms, take a medical history, and perform a neurological exam. An EEG (electroencephalography) or a brain scan may be ordered.
Antiseizure medicine may be used to treat a seizure lasting longer than five minutes or for multiple seizures. For a person with epilepsy, a Dignity Health neurologist will prescribe medications to prevent or reduce the frequency of seizures. For more severe conditions, electrical stimulation or surgery may be needed.