First aid - 31.8.2018

Today was exciting. Scary, but exciting.

Gaming club has started up at school, with myself taking the lead. Each Friday, a small group of students joins me for some retro gaming. Of course, I promote Super Mario World as it is my speedrunning game and has so many good fan-made games. But we have a large range of consoles and games. Some students just come for fun, some come to learn to compete.

Today, we had a first-timer. As an initiation, we gave him a straight-foward challenge: Set up the Super Nintendo to play Super Mario World.

Of course there was some confusion on how the cables work, how to put the game in, how to turn on the machines, and what happens if it doesn't work when it looks all good. In the end, he did manage to get there.

However while the CRT had the static on the screen, the student said he didn't like looking at it. Then his eyes started to wander. He started to tip out of his chair, and went into a Grand Mal seizure. Luckily, I noticed him tipping out of his chair and managed to slowly lower him to the floor. During the fit, he hit his head a few times so I placed my hand under so he had something soft beneath him. As I lowered him, I pushed the chair and controller away. Once he was in the full fit, I removed his glasses and sent another student to get help while I called the ambulance.

The fit stopped, and the student had stopped breathing. He went very pale and with no breath, I assumed he was in serious danger. I gave him a sharp whack on his chest. After a few moments, he took in a snorted whiff of air, then stopped breathing again. This happened a few times, each time not breathing for about ten to fifteen seconds.

Eventually, he relaxed into a regular breathing pattern. Finally, help from the office arrived and the student went to sleep until the ambulance officers arrived to take over.

This was the student's first seizure. Neither I nor the other students present had experienced one before, so it was new for everyone. After he left, the other students and I had a debrief of what happened, what we did well, what we could've done better, and how to prevent it or react to it in the future.

Update ~ 3.9.2018:

Over the weekend, I emailed the parents of all students that were present. One of the students said she had a good weekend, but today (Monday), she came to me crying after seeing the student at school. She took it pretty rough. I've asked for guidance to have a chat with her and the other students.

Update 2 ~ 7.9.2018:

We had games again this week. All the same students came along. We did our best to protect the student from the static. No CRT this time. All students were positive and any sign of continued trauma seem to begin to be fading.

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