First Aid For Seizures Portrayed Inaccurately On Popular TV Dramas

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This enlightening (and scary) article from "Medical News Today"...

New research from Canada shows that almost half of the time, doctors and nurses on popular TV medical dramas respond inappropriately to seizures, suggesting that watching TV is not the best way to learn what to do if you are present when someone has a seizure.

Details of the study were released in a press statement today: the findings are to be presented between 10th and 17th April at the American Academy of Neurology's 62nd Annual Meeting in Toronto.

Study author Andrew Moeller, a third year medical student at Dalhousie University in Halifax Nova Scotia, said in a statement that TV drama is a powerful medium for educating the public about how to deal with first aid and seizures, but he and colleague Dr R. Mark Sadler, also with Dalhousie, found that half of the time the public is being misinformed.

For the study, Moeller and Sadler screened all episodes of the higher-rated US medical dramas, namely:

Grey's Anatomy,
House, MD,
Private Practice,
and the last 5 seasons of ER.

They found 59 seizures depicted in a total of 327 episodes. 51 of the seizures took place in a hospital, and nearly all the first aid was administered by "nurses" and "doctors".

The researchers compared what happened on screen with guidelines on seizure management to establish whether each seizure was handled correctly.

They counted 25 cases, nearly 46 per cent of the time, of seizures handled incorrectly by either holding the person down, trying to stop the involuntary movements, or putting things in the person's mouth: all these measures are mythical ways to manage seizures.

They found 17 cases, or 29 per cent of the time, of seizures handled correctly, and 15 (25 per cent) cases where they couldn't establish whether the first aid given was appropriate or not.

Guidelines on seizure management were used to determine whether the seizure was handled properly.

In a statement, Moeller described their findings as a "call to action" and urged people with epilepsy to: "Lobby the television industry to adhere to guidelines for first aid management of seizures."
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* necro bump *

When Dr. Mark Sadler wanted to raise awareness about epilepsy, he did it in a way that no one could ignore.

Cassidy Megan, who was his patient for years, says he went as far as dying his lab coat bright purple to hand out purple cupcakes in the lobby of Halifax's QEII Hospital.

"You could not miss it when you go in that door."

Megan is one of dozens of former patients from across the Atlantic region who are remembering Sadler, an epilepsy specialist who died Dec. 26 after a brief illness. He was 70 years old.

Sadler is credited with training a generation of neurologists who went on to specialize in epilepsy and now work around the world. He also established a monitoring program in Halifax that changed the way the department diagnoses and treats patients.

Same Dr. Sadler mentioned in the OP (which was posted over a decade ago).
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