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Witnessing a Seizure   

  
 
First aids may be needed in a person experiencing a tonic-clonic seizure and to a 
lesser extent complex partial seizure in which there is convulsion. However, in most 
cases there is no convulsion little needs to be done so. Your reassurance and understanding
after the seizure are perhaps the best FIRST AID of all.
NOTE!
Seek medical attention when:

 

 
During a CONVULSIVE seizure
(fall to ground/ sudden outcry/ stiff & tense/ rapid breathing)
 

DONT's

      Do not try to stop or restrict the seizure/jerking movements by forcibly controlling the person's actions or try to get them to 'come to their senses’. This contraction is extremely powerful and can result in broken bones if it is hindered.  

     Do not try to put anything into their mouths as anything including fingers might broke or resulted broken teeth. It is medically impossible to swallow your tongue, so there is no need for such action either. 

     Do not try to give any medications/fluids when a person remains non-interactive. Anything by mouth should be given when a person starts talking. 

 

DO's

    Try noting down the behaviors during a seizure and tell the person about them when they regain consciousness. This may help especially if this is among the first seizures a person experience. Doctor needs such information as detail as possible to make accurate diagnosis.  [ Here is a list of questions as a guide of what to take note of ]   

     Stay with the person and make sure that they cannot harm themselves before regaining consciousness. 

     Create the safest possible environment by removing objects which may cause physical injury and provides a soft surface if possible. 

     Leave the person alone until their muscles relax. You may want to use your hands to cushion the head to prevent banging against the floor. 

      After the seizure, allow the person to rest or sleep in a "recovery position". Recovery takes a few minutes and the person should allow to rest.

        Never lies a person flat on their back as this may cause obstruction to airway. However, if in a recovery position and there is no moving air through the mouth/nose or there is loud snoring sound, try removing anything in the mouth including dentures and debris. If sound persist, perform a jaw thrust maneuver.

      Call an ambulance if the seizure lasts more than five minutes, or if the person has another seizure soon afterwards without gaining consciousness in between. A serial of seizures without recovery of full consciousness between them is called “ Status Epilepticus” which can last for 30 minutes or longer. It occurs with all type of epilepsy and is a medical emergency with a mortality of 30%.   Most seizures will stop in a few minutes. If the seizure last longer, or if there are additional problems, seek immediate medical help. A seizure that lasts a long time is called "Status Epilepticus" and is considered a medical emergency. It's not clear what exactly a "long time" is, but remember, better save than sorry. In case of a Status Epilepticus, the seizures often have to be stopped with medication. An long period of continuous seizures is a possible cause of brain damage.

     Seek medical advice if it is the person first seizure.

 

  During a NON-CONVULSIVE Seizure

(a person who is staring, blinking, confused and not responding)

Stay With the Person. Do not restrain them. Let the seizure take its course. The person is unaware of his or her actions, and may or may not hear you. DO NOT try to shout or speak loudly to them.

Gently Guide the Person away from Danger. Move dangerous objects out of the way.

Observe Carefully. Note any different movements or behaviors from the previous seizure of this is not the first time.

Such Partial Seizures may spread to other areas of the brain. Do not be alarmed if a convulsive seizure follows.

Afterward, talk gently to the person, be comforting and reassuring and stay with them until they become re-oriented.

          

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