Epilepsy Awareness and First Aid for Seizures in 2024: Claude Steriade, MD, CM


The epileptologist at NYU Langone Health and associate professor of neurology at NYU Grossman School of Medicine talked about the ongoing need to improve public awareness and education on seizure first aid. [WATCH TIME: 3 minutes]

WATCH TIME: 3 minutes

“I think even in 2024, there's a lot that can be done to improve awareness and epilepsy. A lot of people don’t know what to do when they see someone having a seizure in public even though 1% or so of the population has epilepsy. Most people know somebody with epilepsy, but there's still a lot of gaps in public awareness and knowledge on how to help someone with epilepsy who needs acute help.”

International Epilepsy Day, held February 12, 2024, is a day commemorated to reflect on the progress made in raising awareness about epilepsy and to acknowledge the ongoing challenges faced by patients living with seizure disorders. This event serves as a worldwide platform to unite communities, clinicians, and patient advocacy groups in grow understanding, reduce stigma, and promote education surrounding epilepsy. As the field continues to evolve, the epilepsy community aims to enhance support systems, disseminate accurate information, and foster compassion for patients impacted by condition.

Currently, there is a lack of awareness in the general population worldwide about first aid care for patients having a seizure which results in taking inappropriate first-aid measures.1 This is partly because the condition is still stigmatized in most parts of the world, which produces misconceptions about first-aid measures at the time of seizures. Since patients with epilepsy are prone to physical injuries during a seizure, first-aid measures can reduce the risk of a patient from getting harmed in the event. Overall, there is a need to promote education on this to the public to improve the lack of awareness and misconceptions about first-air measures.

In a recent conversation with NeurologyLive®, Claude Steriade, MD, CM, epileptologist at NYU Langone Health, discussed the importance of awareness for clinicians and patients in epilepsy for diagnosis and potential treatments. Steriade, also an associate professor in the department of neurology at NYU Grossman School of Medicine, explained why it is crucial to address gaps in public knowledge regarding seizure first aid. Additionally, she spoke about the role of the Epilepsy Foundation in improving the lives of patients and enhancing community understanding. Furthermore, she detailed an example of one patient’s awareness project for first aid education in epilepsy.

1. Abbasi Kangevari M, Kolahi AA, Farsar AR, Kermaniranjbar S. Public Awareness, Attitudes, and First-Aid Measures on Epilepsy in Tehran. Iran J Child Neurol. 2019;13(1):91-106.
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