If you have never witnessed a seizure, you might be shocked, confused, scared, or worried. But most seizures aren’t an emergency. They stop on their own with no permanent side effects. There isn’t much you can do to stop a seizure once it starts. But you can help protect someone from injury during one.
However, if someone you know experiences an epileptic seizure, it can make a huge difference if you know how to help them.
What you can do if someone is having a seizure.
Protect the person from falling
When someone has a seizure, they mostly fall and injure themselves. To help protect them against injury, find a way to keep them from falling if they are standing. A way to help is to either put your arms around them or catch their arms to hold them upright. Also, protect their head if you can. Besides, try to guide them carefully to the floor if they still have some control of their movements.
Position the person on their side
If the person is already on the floor when you find them, try to roll them onto their side with their mouth angled towards the floor. This helps protect them by letting the saliva and vomit out of the side of their mouth. This helps prevent choking and breathing fluids into their lungs.
Move danger away from the person
In most cases, people who have seizures may injure themselves by hitting furniture, walls, or other nearby objects. To help protect the person against injury, move all objects around them far away as possible. It is especially important to move any sharp objects from around the person.
Protect the person’s head
Some seizures may cause the person to hit their head against the floor repeatedly. If their head is hitting the floor or an object, protect their head with something soft, like a pillow, cushion, or jacket but don’t restrain their head or any other part of their body.
Avoid restricting the person to the ground
During seizures, never hold the person down. Also, never try to restrain them or keep them from moving. This will only cause further injury such as dislocation or fracture.
Don’t put anything in the person’s mouth.
Never put anything in the mouth of someone having seizures. People who have seizures will not swallow their tongue. Putting things in their mouth may cause the seizing person injury.
Note the duration of the seizure
If someone near you has a seizure, you should try to time the length of the seizure. Seizures generally last between one to two minutes. Seizures that last longer than that can indicate a serious health problem. You should quickly call emergency services.
Seek medical care
You need to call an ambulance if you observe any abnormal activities such as:
- Multiple seizures without regaining consciousness
- The seizure lasting for more than five minutes
- Inability to breathe
- A seizure after the person complains of a sudden, severe headache
- Head injury
- A seizure after inhaling fumes or poison