Maternal / Newborn Question #43


The nurse is caring for an 8 year-old client who is diagnosed with epilepsy following an abnormal electroencephalogram (EEG). The parents are voicing disbelief in the diagnosis and indicate they never witnessed a seizure. Which of the following type of seizure will the nurse provide instruction for the parents?


  1. Jacksonian seizure
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  2. Petit mal seizure
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  3. Grand mal seizure
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  4. Myoclonic seizure
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Petit mal seizures are also called absent seizures since they may be observed only as a brief staring occurrence. They may last only 10 seconds or less; however, they are likely to develop into tonic-clonic later, so medical management is necessary. They usually are found between 3 and 15 years of age. Jacksonian seizure involves focal abnormal movements that usually begin in distal muscles and progress to other adjacent muscles (Motor Seizure). They last around 20-30 seconds and would be noticeable by the parents. Grand mal seizures are noticeable and the body may stiffen, jerk, shake, and loss of consciousness occurs. Myoclonic seizures occur with sudden muscle jerking as if shocked by electrical current, so the parents would have observed this type.

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