General First Aid for All Seizure Types
The Epilepsy Foundation has developed some general first aid guidelines. If you are not sure what to do, the following steps are a great place to start. According to epilepsy.com, “Remember that for the majority of seizures, basic seizure first aid is all that may be needed.” For more information on any of these steps, check out the Epilepsy Foundation’s First Aid page.
- Always stay with the person until the seizure is over.
- Pay attention to the length of the seizure. Know when to give ‘as needed’ or rescue treatments, if prescribed, and when to call for emergency help.
- Stay calm, most seizures only last a few minutes.
- Prevent injury by moving nearby objects out of the way.
- Make the person as comfortable as possible.
- Keep onlookers away.
- Do not forcibly hold the person down.
- Do not put anything in the person’s mouth.
- Make sure their breathing is okay.
- Do not give water, pills, or food by mouth unless the person is fully alert.
- Call for Emergency Medical help if
- A seizure lasts 5 minutes or longer.
- One seizure occurs right after another without the person regaining consciousness or coming to between seizures.
- Seizures occur closer together than usual for that person.
- Breathing becomes difficult or the person appears to be choking.
- The seizure occurs in water.
- Injury may have occurred.
- The person asks for medical help.
- Be sensitive and supportive, and ask others to do the same.
If you know the person personally, sometimes it is helpful to ask before a seizure occurs what they would like to have done in case they have a seizure.