FIRST AID FOR SEIZURES

This is first aid guidance is for stereo-typical epileptic seizure or tonic clonic seizure where the person shakes or jerks.

 

Seizures can be alarming to witness, however the majority of the time they are not usually a medical emergency and may not require the calling of an ambulance. Usually, once the seizure stops, the person recovers and their breathing goes back to normal.

HOW TO HELP IF SOMEONE IS HAVING A SEIZURE

First and foremost, it is important that you try to stay calm.

  1. Look around you - is the person in danger? If not, don't move them. If they are in danger from nearby furniture or objects, move the objects rather than the person. Only move the individual if there is no other choice.

  2. If possible, take note the time the seizure starts.

  3. Stay with them. If they don't collapse but seem blank or confused, calmly lead them away from any danger. Try to speak quietly and calmly.

  4. If they have fallen to the ground, cushion their head with something soft.

  5. Do not attempt to put anything in their mouth.

  6. Allow the seizure to run its course, do not attempt to hold them down.

  7. Check the time again. If their seizure hasn't stopped after 5 minutes, call for an ambulance.

  8. After the seizure has stopped, place them into the recovery position. If you are unsure how to do this click here. Check that their breathing has returned to normal. If their breathing sounds difficult after the seizure has stopped, check their mouth to see that nothing is blocking their airway and call for an ambulance.

  9. Stay with them until they are fully recovered.‚Äč

WHEN TO CALL 999

Usually, when a person has a seizure there is no need to call an ambulance. However, you should always dial for an ambulance if:

  • it is the person’s first seizure.

  • they have injured themselves badly.

  • they have trouble breathing after the seizure has stopped.

  • the seizure lasts for more than five minutes.

  • the person has concurrent seizures with little or no break, or if they have 3 seizures within a 24 hour period.

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