First Aid for Seizures – What To Do and Not Do

For people who get seizures, one of the most important things is that those around them know how to administer first aid. What exactly does a person suffering from this condition go through? The person’s body may become very stiff, and this is often followed by the loss of consciousness. Depending on their previous posture, the individual may fall to the ground. This is accompanied by sudden movements where the patient jerks or moves uncontrollably. A keen look at the patient may reveal a blue coloration around the mouth. This is caused by shallow irregular breathing which means that less oxygen is supplied to the body. Sometimes, loss of bladder control will be manifested, and after a couple of minutes, the sudden jerking movements will cease. Consciousness resumes after a short while.

The information posted on this page on seizures and sudden medical emergencies is for learning purposes only. To learn to recognize and manage seizures get certified and register for a standard first aid class with one of our training providers today.

What To Do When an Individual Starts Experiencing Seizures?

  • Ensure that the individual is safe by moving all dangerous objects within their vicinity. Remember that the jerking movements are sudden and unpredictable so it is likely that the individual will injure themselves if there are harmful objects around.
  • Protect the patient’s head by cushioning it so that they do not hurt their heads with the jerking movements. If no cushioning objects are available the rescuer may place his or her hands under the victims head to prevent head trauma.
  • When the patient is calm, look to see whether you can find an identity card or items such as jewelry that will indicate the individual is known to suffer from epilepsy. This will come in handy should there be need to call for professional help.
  • When the seizure ceases, help the patient breathe by placing them in recovery position. This is important because it will help ensure that oxygen levels are restored to normal to reverse the blue coloration aforementioned.
  • Stay with the patient until they are fully recovered. Assure the patient that they will be fine as this will help them recover faster.

What NOT to do when a person is having A Seizure?

  • Do not try to prevent the patient’s jerking movements, something that many people do ignorantly.
  • Do not try to feed the patient as this could be very dangerous once they slip into unconsciousness.
  • Do not try to transfer them to a different place unless they are at risk of hurting themselves.
  • Do not try to ‘wake them up’ as the seizures will stop on their own.

You Should Call for Professional Medical Assistance if:

  • You are sure that this is the first time a patient is getting seizures.
  • The condition persists for more than five minutes.
  • The patient hurts themselves as a result of the jerking movements.
  • The episodes are successive and the patient is not conscious in between the sessions.

Having this information before hand, especially if you are taking care of such a patient is imperative to their well being. Proper techniques will ensure that the patient does not get injured as well as quick recovery following the seizures.

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