Tawam hosts epilepsy support group meet
Al Ain, February 25, 2013
Tawam Hospital, in affiliation with Johns Hopkins Medicine, recently hosted its fourth Children Epilepsy Support Group meeting at Ayla hotel in Al Ain.
The meeting was organised by Tawam’s pediatric neurology division for parents to comfortably talk with each other, as well as with Tawam’s specialists, on the concerns and issues facing families with epileptic children, a statement from the hospital said.
The meeting was also a great opportunity for parents to share emotional comfort and treatment success stories.
During the meeting, different methods of therapies were discussed, including non-pharmacological epilepsy treatment offered at Tawam such as, Ketogenic diet, vagus nerve simulation (VNS), and surgery.
Dr Mohamed Elhadi Al-Malik, consultant child neurologist at Tawam Hospital; Dr Kanita Dervic, consultant child psychiatrist; and pharmacist Tasneem Daoud; gave a presentation counseling families on medication issues and the social and psychological aspects that children and their families could expect to face if afflicted with the disorder.
Most of the epileptic children can live a normal life with only moderate medication and can expect seizures to diminish or disappear altogether as they get older, Dr Al-Malik said.
Others who will continue to have the syndrome and those with an underlying neurologic cause for their epilepsy, can still have improved quality of life when the epilepsy is controlled by medications and other measures, he added.
“The important message is that the seizures can be successfully controlled. Parents reassurance and education are important, particularly in administering first aid before bringing the child to the hospital.”
“When a seizure occurs, the first step parents need to take is to remain calm, remove any sharp objects surrounding the patient, and place a soft object under the victim’s head while loosening clothes in the neck area to help the person breath more easily.”
“The patient should also be turned to his/her side to keep air passage clear and maintained in this position until the seizure is over. When the patient returns to consciousness, parents should reassure and calm him/her; but if convulsing continues, the patient must be taken to the emergency department of the nearest hospital,” Dr Al-Malik said.
“Most types of seizures only last a few seconds to a few minutes and certain prescription drugs can be administered at home to help abort the seizure. Then the child needs to be taken to the nearest hospital.”
“Tawam support groups have become increasingly popular with more parents attending each year,” he added. “Support groups are a great way for parents to get together and share personal experiences and offer moral support to each other. They give parents a sense of empowerment and control as well as useful information to help them overcome any issue without isolation and judgment. It also makes them aware of the different treatment options and diagnostic tools available at Tawam Hospital, including the VNS device implantation and ketogenic diet therapies.”
Tawam Hospital is part of the Seha Health System owned and operated by Abu Dhabi Health Services Company (Seha) which is responsible for the curative activities of all the public hospitals and clinics in Abu Dhabi. – TradeArabia News Service