10 Steps to Take When Someone Is Having a Seizure
Prevention & Treatment Taking these measures, both during and after a seizure, will ensure their health and best bets for recovery.
Lack of preparedness only adds to the ongoing social stigma associated with seizure conditions and epilepsy. Here’s what you need to know properly administer help.
1. Use your brain
The Anita Kaufman Association, which is dedicated to educating the public to not fear epilepsy and seizures, recommends thinking of the letters from the word “brain” as a guide. B is for “be calm.” R is for “remove” dangerous objects. A is for “always” timing the seizure. I is for “if” the person has fallen to put something soft under his or her head. And N is for “never” putting anything in the mouth.
2. Call 911
If it is a person’s first known seizure, if the seizure lasts more than five minutes, if the person is pregnant, injured or has diabetes, or if the seizure occurs in the water. Medical attention is immediately required if the victim does not regain consciousness or normal breathing. Call 911 if they don’t have identification noting they have epilepsy.
3. Never hold the person down
Or move them. Both of these actions can result in injury to you and the person having the seizure.
4. Check for injuries
When the seizure subsides, gently use fingers to clear any vomit or saliva if they have difficulty breathing.
5. Make them comfortable
Loosen tight clothing around the person's neck and waist.
6. Find space
Provide them a safe area for rest.
7. Nourish later
Do not give anything to eat or drink until fully awake and alert.
8. Stay with the person
Until he or she is mentally responsive and familiar with surroundings.
9. Monitor their activity
Do not allow them to drive, swim or do heavy physical activity.
10. Do not overreact
Be prepared. Anyone with a brain can suffer a seizure. According to the Epilepsy Foundation, 1 in 26 people develops seizures during the course of a lifetime.