Seizure First Aid
Here are a few things you can do to help someone who is having a seizure of any kind:
When encountering someone having a seizure many people feel ill-equipped in handling this circumstance. They forget that they already have within their possession one essential tool- common sense. The following tips below are simple, common-sense steps to take when responding to a person having a seizure. First-aid isn’t complicated, but it involves a sequence of actions and considerations which are beyond the scope of epilepsy.com. If you haven’t taken a course in first-aid and CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) you can check within your community for classes being offered.
Seizure First Aid: 5 min video describing the steps to take to seek first aid for someone having a seizure.
Many seizure types-such as generalized absence seizures or complex partial seizures, which involve relatively brief episodes of unresponsiveness- don’t require any specific first-aid measures.
1. Stay calm
2. Prevent injury. During the seizure, you can exercise your common sense by insuring there is nothing within reach that could harm the person if she struck it.
3. Pay attention to the length of the seizure
4. Make the person as comfortable as possible
5. Keep onlookers away
6. Do not hold the person down. If the person having a seizure thrashes around there is no need for you to restrain them. Remember to consider your safety as well
7. Do not put anything in the person's mouth. Contrary to popular belief, a person having a seizure is incapable of swallowing their tongue so you can breathe easy in the knowledge that you do not have to stick your fingers into the mouth of someone in this condition.
8. Do not give the person water, pills, or food until fully alert
9. If the seizure continues for longer than five minutes, call 911
10. Be sensitive and supportive, and ask others to do the same
After the seizure, the person should be placed on her left side. Keep in mind there is a small risk of post-seizure vomiting, before the person is fully alert. Therefore, the person’s head should be turned so that any vomit will drain out of the mouth without being inhaled. Stay with the person until she recovers (5 to 20 minutes).
Seizure First Aid: Learn how to effectively help a person following a seizure.