First Aid for Seizures - Assist

Have you had to assist a person suffering a seizure? Please describe the experience.

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What first aid should be done for a seizure?

First aid for a seizure is aimed at keeping the person safe until the seizure stops on its own. Most seizures last from 30 seconds to 2 minutes.

  1. Stay calm and reassure bystanders.
  2. Loosen anything around the person's neck (clothing, ties, jewelry, etc.) that may impede breathing.
  3. Do not restrain the person this may result in injury.
  4. Do not put anything into the person's mouth, and do not try to hold the tongue or force the mouth open. This may also cause injury.
  5. Clear the area around the person and remove any objects that could injure them (glasses, furniture, etc.).
  6. Put something flat and soft under their head.
  7. After the seizure, lay the person on their side to facilitate breathing and keep the airway open.
  8. Do not leave a person alone after a seizure they may be disoriented or confused.
  9. If the person is known to have epilepsy it may not be necessary to call 911. However, call 911 if:
    • the seizure lasts longer than 5 minutes,
    • another seizure begins soon after the first one ends,
    • the person does not awaken after movements have stopped,
    • the person has another medical condition (such as heart disease),
    • or you think anything else might be wrong.
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