Seizure First Aid

There are a few things to remember when someone is having a seizure: 

  • Keep calm and reassure other people who may be nearby.
  • Don't hold the person down or try to stop his movements.
  • Time the seizure with your watch.
  • Clear the area around the person of anything hard or sharp.
  • Loosen ties or anything around the neck that may make breathing difficult.
  • Put something flat and soft, like a folded jacket, under the head.
  • Turn him or her gently onto one side.  This will help keep the airway clear.
  • Do not try to force the mouth open with any hard implement or with fingers. A person having a seizure CANNOT swallow his tongue. Efforts to hold the tongue down can injure teeth or jaw.
  • Don't attempt artificial respiration except in the unlikely event that a person does not start breathing again after the seizure has stopped.
  • Stay with the person until the seizure ends naturally.
  • Be friendly and reassuring as consciousness.
  • Offer to call a taxi, friend or relative to help the person get home if he seems confused or unable to get home by himself.

First Aid during a convulsive seizure
During a generalized tonic-clonic (grand mal) seizure, the person suddenly falls to the ground and has a convulsive seizure. It is essential to protect him or her from injury.

First Aid for a non-convulsive seizure
You don't have to do anything if a person has brief periods of staring or shaking of the limbs.

First Aid in special circumstances
First aid in water, on an airplane or a bus.

First Aid for convulsions
One important thing to remember is to never put anything in their mouth.

Head Injury during a seizure
If the person hits their head while falling.

When is an emergency room visit needed?
If certain other conditions exist, immediate medical attention is necessary. 

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