First Aid During Epileptic Fit

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First Aid During Epileptic SeizureEpilepsy is a group of neurological disorders characterized by epileptic seizures. There are many different types of epilepsy, the most common type being generalized convulsive seizures.  Although it can be frightening to see, these seizures are not usually medical emergencies.  However, knowing what to do is important, because people with seizures can injure themselves during the episode.

What to do:

1. Stay Calm.

2. Look Around.  Is the person having the seizure in a dangerous place eg. in the middle of the road.  If so, move him/her to a safe location.  If not, do not move him/her.

3. Note The Time. Take note of what time the seizure started where possible.

4. Roll The Person Onto Their Side.  This will prevent choking on vomit or saliva. 

5. Cushion The Head. 

6. Remove Spectacles.  Remove also nearby objects which may cause injury.

7. Stay until the person has fully recovered.

8. Note Duration of Seizure.

9. Respectfully ask bystanders to stay back. The patient may be tired, groggy, or disoriented after a seizure. Offer to call a relative or someone for further assistance, if they need it.

What not to do:

1. Do not hold them down.

2. Do not put anything in the mouth.  It is a common myth that one should put a spoon in the mouth to prevent the epileptic from biting or swallowing the tongue. 

3. Do not attempt to restrain the person unless failing to do so could result in obvious bodily harm.


When to call for an ambulance:

1. The person has never had a seizure before.

2. The person has difficulty breathing or waking after the seizure.

3. The seizure lasts longer than 5 minutes.

4. The person has another seizure soon after the first one.

5. The person is hurt during the seizure.

6. The seizure happens in water.

7. The person has a health condition like diabetes, heart disease, or is pregnant.

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Further Reading

The article above is meant to provide general information and does not replace a doctor's consultation.
Please see your doctor for professional advice.