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.