What to Do When Someone has a Seizure?
Seizures often occur in patients suffering from epilepsy. Epilepsy is a range of disorders that affect the electrical activity in the brain. Although a person might suffer from seizure due to other factors such as head trauma, toxin or drug effects, epileptic patients are more likely to have an episode. However, not all seizures are characterized by dramatic convulsions that many associates with epilepsy.
The classic seizure will see a patient lose control, fall unconscious, and twitch. This seizure is referred to as generalized tonic conic seizure. Other symptoms that you might notice include choking sounds and stiffness on the person’s body. The symptoms are often very dramatic and might be difficult to miss.
First aid for a person having a seizure is aimed at keeping the person safe and does not seek to control the course of the seizure. It is good to mention that almost 80% of the seizures often last three minutes or less. Within half an hour, the person who had a seizure will be back to normal. This means that you will need to move quickly and effectively during an episode to protect the person from harm. Here are the dos and don’ts in such a situation
What To Do
- Keep Calm
Most seizures are unpredictable and often happen without warning. This can be frightening for both you and the patient. However, keeping calm will help you to focus on your goal, which is to keep the patient safe.
- Move things out of the way
This will protect the person from harm. Remove sharp objects or furniture. Additionally, you can remove the person’s eyeglasses if he or she has them on. Remove any scarf or tie and loosen the person’s collar to ensure they breathe freely. Keep others from crowding around the patient. Do not move the person unless they are in immediate danger such as in water or on the road. If the person is seated, gently pull the patient on a flat surface to prevent a fall.
- Cushion the patients head
Place a soft and flat material such as a pillow, sweater, or jacket under the persons head for protection.
- Maintain a clear airway
After the episode is over, turn the person on the side as it allows the saliva to flow out of the mouth clearing the airwaves. In case the person is struggling to breathe, you might have to grip their jaw gently and tilt their head back to open the airwaves further.
- Time the seizure
Take note of how long the seizure lasted and its symptoms. This information is crucial in case the person needs to visit the hospital. If the person had multiple seizures, time the duration between the seizures. Take note of any epilepsy identity card or jewelry. Such identification can give you information on what to do about the person’s seizure.
- Stay at their side
Stay with the person until they fully recover. Be calm during this time and after the seizure, help them sit in a comfortable and safe place. Reassure them and gently explain to them what happened in a calm and comforting manner.
What Not To Do
When you have someone having a seizure here are a few things you should not do:
- Do not restrain the person’s movement as this can injure the person or injure you too
- Do not put anything in the person’s mouth. Do not believe the old wives tales that a person having a seizure can swallow their own tongue. Attempting to put something in the person’s mouth can cause injury to you or the patient
- Do not offer any food or drink as this can cause choking
- Do not attempt to move them unless they are in danger again this can injure the person
- Do not attempt to do CPR or artificial respiration unless the person has difficulty breathing after the seizure.
Once the seizure is over, the person might appear confused, combative or might try to run off. It might also be an embarrassing moment as some of the patients might find that they have vomited or lost control of their urine. Reassure the person. Most patients will be too tired and will want to sleep. Stay as long as you can with the person until you are sure they are safe.
Many seizures do not warrant immediate medical attention. However, there are some instances you will need to call 911 or seek emergency care. Such instances include:
- If the patient is pregnant or diabetic
- If the seizure lasts more than five minutes
- If after the seizure, the person does not regain consciousness
- If the person stops breathing after the seizure
- The person has one seizure after the other without regaining consciousness between seizures
- If this is the patient’s first seizure
- If the seizure occurs in water or the person is injured during the episode.
Why Visit Frontline ER In Case Of A Seizure
- Locations near you
We are right in your neighborhood in Raymond and Dallas Texas. Once you get to Frontline ER, there is no waiting time. We offer unmatched convenience and top-notch services.
- Experienced physicians
If you have a patient who needs emergency care after a seizure our experienced specialists will offer the best standard of medical care to your patient.
- Caring people
At Frontline ER, we treat you like family. Our employees are friendly and care for all our patients. We assure you that your loved one is in safe hands.