Quite a few people suffer from seizures because they have epilepsy. Other medical conditions can also cause seizures. For example, we frequently see alcohol withdrawal seizures since we see so many people with alcohol addiction.
We recently had a patient with bad alcohol withdrawal symptoms. He was doing pretty well with the treatment we had given him and was waiting to be admitted to a bed upstairs. Suddenly, I heard a nurse call, “Dr. Tad, we need you in Room 17, STAT!” I knew I would find the patient seizing, but I was not prepared with the how horrible his seizure was. Though I may have seen hundreds of seizures in my professional career, this was, without a doubt, the worst I have ever seen.
The patient was a large, though not overly obese man. He was on his back on the hospital gurney in his boxers and was jerking so violently he almost lifted himself off the bed with each jerk. His face was purple and blood oozed out of his mouth from where he bit his tongue. As the seizure continued, he became incontinent. Stool and urine seeped out of his underwear directly onto the thin black mattress, the bed sheet having been pulled off by his violent shaking.
As the seizure subsided, he started to breath with short, cough-like exhalations. With each breath, he spattered blood and spit all over the room and everyone there. By the time a nurse arrived with an injection to stop the seizure, it had already stopped, as they usually do.
Pretty soon he was awake, his tongue quit bleeding, we had him cleaned up and he was on his way upstairs.
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