What do I do? General First Aid for All Seizure Types

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.

  1. Always stay with the person until the seizure is over.
  2. 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.
  3. Stay calm, most seizures only last a few minutes.
  4. Prevent injury by moving nearby objects out of the way.
  5. Make the person as comfortable as possible.
  6. Keep onlookers away.
  7. Do not forcibly hold the person down.
  8. Do not put anything in the person’s mouth.
  9. Make sure their breathing is okay.
  10. Do not give water, pills, or food by mouth unless the person is fully alert.
  11. Call for Emergency Medical help if
    1. A seizure lasts 5 minutes or longer.
    2. One seizure occurs right after another without the person regaining consciousness or coming to between seizures.
    3. Seizures occur closer together than usual for that person.
    4. Breathing becomes difficult or the person appears to be choking.
    5. The seizure occurs in water.
    6. Injury may have occurred.
    7. The person asks for medical help.
  12. 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.


What do I do? First Aid for Partial Seizures

First Aid for Complex Partial Seizures

I did not create the following video, but it does a great job of illustrating what to do if someone is having a complex partial seizure.

More First Aid Tips for Partial Seizures

The following is a guide developed by the Epilepsy Foundation for specific types of partial seizures.  For more assistance, please contact your local Epilepsy Foundation.


What do I do? Someone is having a tonic-clonic seizure!

Not knowing what to do if someone else is having a tonic-clonic seizure can be scary.  Knowledge is power!  These videos were not created by myself, but are courtesy of the epilepsy therapy project.   They help illustrate what to do if you see someone having a tonic-clonic seizure.   They also help illustrate what you should do immediately after the seizure.

Disclaimer:  This video does show someone actually having a tonic-clonic seizure.



Convulsive Seizure First Aid

Convulsive Seizure First Aid

Knowledge is power!  Do you know what to do when someone you know is having a convulsive, generalized tonic-clonic, or grand mal seizure?  (Disclaimer:  this photo was created by the epilepsy foundation and not myself.)  If the text is too tiny to read, you can click on the image.  A new window should appear with a full-size view of the picture below.