Epilepsy Essay

1921 words - 8 pages

According to Epilepsy Action Australia, “Epilepsy is a disruption of the normal electrochemical activity of the brain that results in seizures... It is only when there is a tendency to have recurrent seizures (more than one) that epilepsy is diagnosed.” (Epilepsy Action Australia, 2011). The World Health Organization (WHO) (2005) states that, Epilepsy is one of the most common serious disorders of the brain affecting about 50 million people worldwide.
Thomas is a 13 year old boy who is chronically ill with Epilepsy. He is frequently hospitalised due to poor seizure management. His most recent admission to hospital was due to a three day stay in ICU after a near drowning while he was unsupervised in the bath. The nurse is familiar with Thomas and his family and she has cared for him on numerous occasions. Within the notes it is stated that Thomas is quite ‘accident prone’ and when questioning the parents, they state that he is noncompliant with his medication regime. (Gamble, 2010). A professional issue which a nurse may come across is autonomy. Autonomy refers to the state of being independent and self-directing (Medline Plus, 2011). Autonomy is one of the major issues that arise as Thomas feels he is able to decide on his own when he should or wants to take his medication. This not only makes it difficult on the parents, but also the nurses caring for him. As he is only 13 years of age, most nurses may feel that he is too young to decide for himself let alone may fully understand the complications of not taking his medications may do to his body considering his illness. This complicates the nurse’s role as their duty is to care for the child and make informed decisions in the best interest of the child. In turn, as parents, their role is to care for their child and seek support or advice when their child is not taking their medications, causing serious implications to the child’s health. This can be classified as child abuse and/or neglect. As parents of a child with an illness such as Epilepsy, it is their duty to report any abnormalities in the child which includes reporting if the child is noncompliant with his medication.
The Platt Report states that “Greater attention needs to be paid to the emotional and mental needs of the child in hospital, against the background of changes in attitudes towards children... and the importance of mitigating the effects of the break with home should be more fully recognized.” (Platt Report, 1959) This can refer to the impact the child and the family may face during hospitalisation. One of these is the child’s school attendance. Considering Thomas spent three days in ICU and is now recovering from his near drowning, his recovery in hospital may require more than just four days away from school. This impacts Thomas as he will not be able to learn what his fellow students are learning and he may fall back in his classes. Due to his frequent seizures, he may have also developed some learning difficulties...

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