26th March 2017 is Purple Day in support of Epilepsy awareness worldwide. Purple day is a global initiative devised by Cassidy Megan in 2008 to promote awareness of and raise funds for people with epilepsy. The initiative aims to encourage people to wear purple and host fundraising events to promote conversation in support of those living with epilepsy. Unfortunately, many myths continue to be perpetuated surrounding the condition, which Purple Day was set up to dispel, amongst other things.
Contrary to popular belief, epilepsy is not a psychological disease and is not contagious. Epilepsy affects an estimated 1 in 100 people currently, which equates to about 50 million people worldwide. Unfortunately, there is no known cure for epilepsy, but it can be carefully managed with medication. People living with epilepsy can become more familiar with their particular triggers for seizures. For example, stress, strobe lighting, illness or missing medication and sleep. Once they know what their triggers are, they can actively avoid them and reduce their likelihood of experiencing a seizure.
Seizures can present themselves in two ways. They can either be convulsive or nonconvulsive. Either way, first aid in these situations is relatively simple. The important thing to remember is that the person should not be left alone until the seizure has passed and they should never be restrained under any circumstances. However, they should be guided away from danger. HTS Training offers useful paediatric first aid training and first aid at work courses that include training on how to manage someone in a seizure.
What you can do for Purple Day
Whether you show your support for epilepsy day by wearing something purple, by baking purple cakes for a bake sale to raise funds or by organising events, any support would be welcome! The funds you help raise are vital in funding essential research and raising awareness of what life is like with the condition. For more information on how to set up your own cake sale to raise money in support of epilepsy research and to find out more about the condition, visit https://www.epilepsy.org.uk/