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Hunter Tylo of CBS' The Bold and The Beautiful Joins Forces With the American Epilepsy Outreach Foundation in Public Awareness Campaign
Date:6/11/2008

American Epilepsy Outreach Foundation formed to raise awareness and educate

public on first aid for seizures

CHICAGO, June 11 /PRNewswire/ -- The newly organized American Epilepsy Outreach Foundation (AEOF), epilepsyoutreach.org, has joined forces with Hunter Tylo of CBS' The Bold and The Beautiful in a nationwide campaign to raise awareness of seizure disorders and to educate the public on first-aid tips for someone experiencing a seizure.

"My 19-year-old son, Mickey died this past fall of 2007 after suffering a seizure. It rendered him unconscious and he fell into our pool and drowned. No one heard a thing and there were people around -- it was a silent killer. I realized then how little people know about this disorder that affects so many," said Hunter Tylo of CBS' The Bold and The Beautiful, who also serves as national spokesperson for AEOF.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, epilepsy affects an estimated 2.7 million people in the United States and 40 to 50 million people worldwide, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). Each year, about 200,000 new cases of epilepsy are diagnosed in the United States. Epilepsy costs about $15.5 billion in medical expenses and lost or reduced earnings and productivity each year. More than one-third of people with epilepsy continue to have seizures despite treatment. Seizures result when the brain produces a sudden surge of electrical energy that interrupts brain functions. There is currently no cure for epilepsy and each year seizures are responsible for up to 42,000 deaths, according to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke.

Through its website, epilepsyoutreach.org, AEOF offers information on detecting and treating seizure disorders, first-aid information for someone experiencing a seizure, support programs for individual sufferers and their families, and links to related resources and medical news.

AEOF was founded by Erin and Patrick Leyden and Patrick's sister, Anne Marie Clancy, all of Chicago, Ill., after the Leyden's youngest son, Emmett, was diagnosed with Epilepsy. Emmett Leyden, now 4, has a severe form of the disorder and suffered up to 200 Epileptic seizures a day.

"Before Emmett began suffering from seizures, we knew absolutely nothing about epilepsy," said Erin Leyden. "After the diagnosis, we were very discouraged by the lack of information and assistance offered to people who suffer from this disorder and their families. It is our goal to provide this much-needed support and to educate the public on first aid for seizures -- because, one day when Emmett and the millions of others who suffer from epilepsy might need to rely on the public to help them, I want to make sure the public knows what to do when they witness a seizure."

Public facilities and individual businesses can order posters and brochures from AEOF that list the first-aid procedures for responding to someone experiencing a seizure.

FIRST AID FOR CONVULSIVE SEIZURES

A Convulsive Seizure is also known as a Tonic-Clonic Seizure, formerly referred to as a Grand Mal Seizure. At the start of a seizure, the person may cry out, then usually stiffens and falls. Their arms and legs may jerk or twitch. You will not be able to rouse them (and do not try). Seizures generally last a few minutes, but can sometimes go on for much longer. During the seizure the person will often turn blue in the face.

At the end of a seizure, convulsing will stop, the person usually takes a deep breath, natural color returns and they slowly "wake up." The person is often confused and may not know where they are for a short while afterward.

Do Follow the Four C's

Calm -- Remain calm and gently lay the person on his or her side.

Check for an ID bracelet.

Clear -- Clear a space around the person, moving objects away that

might be harmful.

Comfort -- Make the person comfortable and put something soft under

his or her head if you can. If there are other people around, explain

what you are doing, reassure them if necessary, and keep them away

from the person having the seizure. After the seizure, talk to the

person quietly, explain to them what happened and where they are.

Call -- Call 911 if the seizure lasts more than five minutes, if the

person has one seizure after another, is pregnant, or you do not feel

comfortable providing assistance.

Do Not

Do not put anything into their mouth.

Do not try to rouse the person.

Do not try to wake the person up; they will come-to in their own time.

Do not give them anything to drink until you are sure that they are

fully awake.

To contact the American Epilepsy Outreach Foundation, visit epilepsyoutreach.org or call 773.456.7729.

About AEOF

The American Epilepsy Outreach Foundation (AEOF) is a registered 501(c)(3) non-profit organization located in Chicago, Ill., and established in honor of Emmett Leyden, a four-year-old boy who is living with epilepsy. Founded in 2008, the organization's mission is to raise the public's awareness of epilepsy through advocacy and education, as well as to provide support for those living with epilepsy and their families. To learn more or to contact the organization, visit epilepsyoutreach.org


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SOURCE American Epilepsy Outreach Foundation
Copyright©2008 PR Newswire.
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