First Aid Steps
RESPONDING TO A SEIZURE
The proper emergency response to a generalized tonic-clonic epileptic seizure is simply to prevent the patient from self-injury by moving him or her away from sharp edges,
placing something soft beneath the head, and carefully rolling the person onto his or her side to avoid asphyxiation. Should the person regurgitate, the material should be allowed to drip out the side of the patient’s mouth by itself.
First Aid for Seizures
- Stay calm and Note the time.
- Do not restrain the person.
- Move anything hard or sharp out of the way.
- Protect head, remove glasses, loosen tight neckwear.
- Once the seizure has stopped, put the person on their side, position mouth to ground and check that their breathing is returning to normal. Gently check their mouth to see that nothing is blocking their airways such as food or false teeth.
- Speak reassuringly, calmly and quietly. Do not physically engage the person unless you need to for their safety.
- Prevent others from crowding around and minimize embarrassment.
- Understand that verbal instruction may not be obeyed.
- Stay until the person is fully aware and help reorient them.
Call ambulance if:
- Seizure lasts more than 5 minutes
- They have injured themselves or are having difficulty breathing
- They have one seizure after another or the seizure lasts 2 minutes longer than normal
- It is the person’s first seizure
Potentially Dangerous Responses to Seizure
- Put anything in the person’s mouth
- Try to hold down or restrain the person
- Attempt to give oral anti-seizure medication
- Keep the person on their back face up throughout convulsion