Popular TV shows may not be good way to depict proper first aid for seizures

Watching popular medical dramas on TV like ‘ER’ or ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ might not be the best way to learn what to do when someone has a seizure.

Toronto, Feb 15 (Calcutta Tube) Watching popular medical dramas on TV like ‘ER’ or ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ might not be the best way to learn what to do when someone has a seizure.

Researchers screened the most popular medical dramas and found that doctors and nurses on the shows responded inappropriately to seizures almost half the time, according to a new study.

[ReviewAZON asin=”B001JAHQ16″ display=”inlinepost”]’Television dramas are a potentially powerful method of educating the public about first aid and seizures,’ said study author Andrew Moeller, with Dalhousie University, Halifax, Canada.

‘Our results, showing that television shows inaccurately showed seizure management half the time are a call to action,’ said R. Mark Sadler, also with Dalhousie University.

Researchers screened all episodes of the highest-rated US medical dramas – ‘Grey’s Anatomy,’ ‘House, M.D.’, ‘Private Practice’ and the last five seasons of ‘ER’ – for seizures.

In the 327 episodes, 59 seizures occurred. Fifty-one seizures took place in a hospital and nearly all first aid was performed by ‘nurses’ or ‘doctors’.

The study found that inappropriate practices, including holding the person down, trying to stop involuntary movements or putting something in the person’s mouth, occurred in 25 cases, nearly 46 percent of the time.

First aid management was shown appropriately in 17 seizures, or about 29 percent of the time. Appropriateness of first aid could not be determined in 15 incidents of seizures, or 25 percent, said a Dalhousie University release.

These findings will be presented at the American Academy of Neurology’s 62nd Annual Meeting in Toronto April 10-17.

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