Generalized Seizures “Grand Mal”

Tonic-clonic seizures  is a Generalized Seizure
  that affects the entire brain and  is universally recognized as  the most dramatic of  all seizures. Tonic-clonic seizures account for 10% of all seizures and have  following characteristics:

  • Has no aura.  The individual abruptly and completely loses consciousness and does not respond to others or the environment.
  • May begin with a yell/cry as tightening chest muscles force air out of the lungs.
  • During the tonic phase (10-30 seconds), the body becomes rigid, the back arches, and the extremities extend.
  • Then the body begins to jerk rhythmically for 1-5 minutes. The jerking (clonic phase) is caused by muscles alternating between contracting and relaxing.
  • Breathing may become irregular and labored. The person may even stop breathing for a brief period of time. Because of the disruption in the person’s breathing, their skin may look pale and their lips and fingernail beds may have a bluish discoloration.
  • There may be loss of bowel and bladder control, tongue biting, and excessive secretions in the mouth.

The seizure usually lasts approximately two minutes and is followed by a period of confusion, agitation and extreme tiredness. Headaches and soreness are also common afterwards.
tonic clonic seizure

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