What to Do in Case of a Seizure: A First Aid Primer

A seizure is a sudden and brief episode of abnormal electrical activity in the brain. Having one doesn't mean that you're going to have more, but it can still be frightening for both the person having the seizure and those who witness it. Fortunately, there are things you can do to help someone with a seizure until emergency medical help arrives:

Offer to call 911.

If you are not sure whether to call 911, here are some guidelines.

  • If this is someone's first seizure and they have a medical condition that may be worsened by seizures (such as epilepsy), or if they have no reason to believe they have ever had one before, call 911 immediately.
  • If you are in an unfamiliar place and no one else is around to help, also call 911 immediately.
  • If there's no one else around and the person does not know where he or she is or how long he or she has been unconscious, again consider calling for medical assistance because of the possibility of head injury from falling during the seizure itself or afterward due to loss of consciousness caused by lack of oxygenation due to prolonged seizure activity in the brainstem region responsible for respiration control functions such as coughing/coughing up mucus from lungs during sleep apnea events which can lead into fatal consequences if left untreated over time

Remain calm.

Remain calm and reassure the person, who may be frightened by the episode. Don't panic or be afraid to touch them, even if they're thrashing around in obvious pain.

Do not put anything in their mouth--they might bite you. Also, do not try to restrain them; this could cause further injury or make things worse by causing stress on your friend's body during an already stressful situation!

    Carefully guide the person 

    If the person is still standing, carefully guide him or her to a safe surface. Do not try to catch the person as he or she falls, as this could cause injury.

    If the seizure lasts longer than five minutes, call 911 immediately and follow their instructions until help arrives.

    Remove any dangerous objects around the person.

    • Remove any dangerous objects around the person.
    • Remove any sharp objects, such as knives or scissors.
    • Move any items that could cause injury to you or your loved one if they were to fall during the seizure (such as glass bottles). Also remove items that could restrict their breathing, like blankets or pillows.
    • If you're worried about hurting yourself while moving these items, consider using a pillow as a brace against furniture so you don't hurt yourself when removing items from around them. If possible, keep them on their back while they're having their seizure; this will help prevent choking from saliva pooling in their mouth during unconsciousness and reduce chances of injury from falling off beds/chairs etcetera during seizures due to muscle twitches associated with epilepsy symptoms occurring involuntarily throughout entire body regions at once rather than localized areas only affecting certain parts simultaneously (i..e head jerking motions only affecting those parts).

    Do not restrain the person.

    • Do not restrain the person.
    • Do not put anything in their mouth.
    • Do not try to stop their movements or hold them down, unless they are in danger of hurting themselves or others. You can guide them to a safe surface, such as the floor or ground, but do not hold them down against their will or force anything into their mouth (such as water). If possible, carefully place the person on their side with both arms tucked under them so that they won't choke on vomit if they do lose consciousness--this position also helps prevent injury during a seizure episode by reducing the risk of damage from falling objects around you and/or hitting your head against hard surfaces like walls and floors if you collapse while standing upright during an episode due to loss of muscle control over balance/posture functions which may be affected temporarily while having one yourself!

    Speak and interact with the person in a reassuring voice.

    • Try to keep the person awake.
    • Avoid touching the head or body of someone who is having a seizure, as this can cause them to fall or hurt themselves.
    • Do not restrain the person during or after a seizure--instead, let them lie down on their side with their head turned away from you so that they do not choke on their saliva if they start vomiting during recovery. It may be helpful for someone who has had seizures before (or whose symptoms suggest they might be at risk) to carry something like an auto-injector in case they experience another one while out in public; this will also help calm bystanders' anxiety about what's happening as well as provide instructions on how best deal with it should it occur again later

    Stay with the person until medical help arrives.

    When a seizure occurs, the person is likely to be scared and confused. It's important that you stay with them until medical help arrives. Do not leave the person alone, and do not restrain them during a seizure or put anything in their mouth (to prevent injury).

    Also, remember that:

    • You do not need to stop the seizure; it will end on its own within 5 minutes or less.
    • If necessary, you can place something soft under their head so they don't hurt themselves when falling during convulsions (for example a pillow).
    • Make sure nothing is obstructing their airway (such as an object stuck between teeth).

    Knowing what to do can keep someone from getting injured during a seizure.

    Knowing what to do in case of a seizure can keep someone from getting injured during a seizure.

    In the case that someone has a seizure, they might be confused and disoriented. They may fall and hurt themselves, bite their tongue or lip, or not be able to swallow properly. If the person is unconscious, make sure you check for breathing by feeling for air coming out of their nose or mouth; if there isn't any, begin CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation). Also, make sure that it's safe for you before attempting first aid; if someone is having convulsions or twitches--or even just lying still on the ground--you don't want them falling off something high up like a cliff! After making sure everything is okay with your friend/family member/co-worker/etc., stay with him until emergency services arrive so they can get checked out properly at the hospital (if necessary).


    We hope this article has helped you understand how to act in case of a seizure. Remember that the most important thing is to keep yourself and the person safe and calm. You can also contact your local emergency service if you feel more comfortable doing so, but remember: there's no substitute for having an experienced first responder on hand!


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