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Baby Monitors Needed

Posted on 12 September 2017 at 10:22am by Disabilities Resource Centre, Southland

Perhaps you have a baby monitor sitting in a cupboard that you no longer use?

Epilepsy Association of New Zealand Southland branch educator Darlene Howell is keen to contact anyone who can donate one.  They can be used to alert family members and carers of epilepsy sufferers that someone is having a seizure when they are sleeping.

"The monitor takes away some of the parents' fears and anxiety, meaning they can get a sounder sleep."

"Last month Epilepsy Southland received funding for three epilepsy emfit tonic-clonic seizure monitors from the Combined Service Clubs Medical Trust in Southland, which pick up any unusual continued shaking movement happening in a bed.  The alarm alerts a parent or carer when the person is having a seizure which means they do not need to be on constant alert, she said.

"Unfortunately, the alarms on the seizure monitors are not very loud so if a person is in bedroom away from the living area or upstairs, especially through the day, the alarm sometimes cannot be heard. Having a baby monitor next to the epilepsy seizure monitor transmits the sound from the alarm to a person in another room. Also, because the specialist monitor is very costly the alternative option of a baby monitor can be used as a stand-alone unit, as it picks up any sound in a quiet room and a carer can be alerted quite quickly if a person is shaking in their bed."

"A tonic-clonic seizure lasting five or more minutes, or going into a second seizure straight away, can be life threatening," Howell said.

One Southland family wrote a note of appreciation to the Association about how the use of the two monitors together eased their anxiety while their daughter slept and helped them get some much-needed sleep.

Donations of baby monitors can be used as an alarm system we can give out free of charge to families or carers of people with suspected night time seizures, Howell said.  "People can contact me at our office in Southland Community House on 0800 374 537 or email southland@epilepsy.org.nz about any donations of baby monitors, with each one being a special gift for a family and hugely appreciated."

Abridged, taken from The Eye, 7 September 2017.

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