From: Allen Niemi <anniemi**At_Symbol_Here**MTU.EDU>
Subject: Re: [DCHAS-L] Epilepsy in the Lab
Date: Thu, 28 Apr 2016 12:21:48 -0400
Reply-To: DCHAS-L <DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**MED.CORNELL.EDU>
Message-ID: CAN0bzO5PfDYb3uvO+GeGoih30zNDdVe2Hgm3khbOPWA_WVEWWg**At_Symbol_Here**

You're going to need some feedback from her doctor, I think. There's an extremely wide range of seizure symptoms and degrees of control that are possible. Violent seizures with poor control would be very difficult to work around. Her doc is required to notify the state of her diagnosis so that she cannot drive a vehicle for a specific period of time and should be able to make similar recommendations for other dangerous activities. The doc might even need more time to get a better idea of how well her medications are working. There's certainly no answer that fits everyone diagnosed with this condition. Some people have very poor outcomes with little to no control over their seizures (sometimes due to multiple causal factors) and the seizures are quite violent and unpredictable. Others have very mild seizures that are completely controlled with meds. Seizures can range from a brief feeling of nausea to full loss of consciousness or muscle control. Your course of action really depends on her specific type of seizure symptoms.

Good luck to you and your student. I hope she has a good outcome.


On Wed, Apr 27, 2016 at 6:28 PM, Teresa Arnold <tarnold**At_Symbol_Here**> wrote:
We have a student recently diagnosed with epilepsy. She will be researching with one of our PI's this summer. If you have some experience with this scenario and have some protocols in place for epilepsy and safety in the lab, I sure would appreciate your thoughts.

We will of course, be
  • enforcing the 'don't work alone' policy, as per usual
  • requiring the use of carts instead of hand-held secondary containers
  • working up a first aid training and protocol for her lab and floor mates
Useful things to consider would be very much appreciated!


Teresa Arnold
Biology-Chemistry Lab Manager
George Fox University
414 N. Meridian St. #6144
Newberg, OR 97132


Member of the National Association of Scientific Materials Managers since 2004

Allen Niemi, PhD
Occupational Safety and Health Services
Room 322 Lakeshore Center
Michigan Technological University
Phone: 906-487-2118
Fax: 906-487-3048

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