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Epilepsy Awareness Month: UMD Pharmacy Students Partake in Valuable Epilepsy Training

Alejandra Palacios
Updated: November 21, 2019 06:20 PM

November is Epilepsy Awareness Month. A Northland woman has dedicated herself to teaching people about it. She offered a training to pharmacy students from UMD and UMN Thursday.

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Lisa Peterson is the regional coordinator for Minnesota’s Epilepsy Foundation. She's used her own experience with epilepsy as a life lesson for many people.

She knows more than anyone what it's like to live with epilepsy. She had it for 21 years, but a successful brain surgery changed that. Now, she's using her background and knowledge to educate thousands of people.

“They'll learn about medication side effects as pharmacists. They'll be working with individuals who have epilepsy and sometimes they're helping them access resources," said Peterson.

Peterson says its crucial to learn how to respond when someone is having a seizure. One in 26 people will have epilepsy in their lifetime. Three million people are affected across the United States.

“Understanding what they might be feeling, the emotional side of living with that type of condition. I think it is really helpful to connect with that patient and build that patient centered relationship that you need to work with them,” said Hayley Kytta, a UMD pharmacy student.

Students learned lifesaving information like how to identify and respond to different seizures.

“I thought people would just stop and stare off directly into space but in the videos she showed us, some of them were still moving. Their heads were moving so there's a lot more activity than I thought,” said Jake Bush, a UMD pharmacy student.

Peterson has seen the life changing affects her training's have made to people's lives.

“I did a seizure training up north of Bemidji and the following day, a student had a seizure on the bus and the nurse emailed me and said every kid on the bus knew what to do,” said Peterson.

“It was nice to get the personal aspect. It seemed more like we were hearing from a patient which we kind of were,” said Bush.

If you want more information, you can go to the Epilepsy Foundation website.

Credits

Alejandra Palacios

Copyright 2019 WDIO-TV LLC, a Hubbard Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved

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