If a friend, family member or co-worker has epilepsy, you should know what to do if he or she has a seizure.
Once a seizure begins, nothing can be done to make it end more quickly. But you can take steps to prevent seizure victims from hurting themselves:
- Move furniture and sharp objects away from the victim.
- Should the victim vomit, turn his or her head to the side so he or she does not choke.
- If the victim is unconscious, make sure nothing is obstructing the nose or mouth.
After a seizure ends, most people sleep deeply. Do not try to prevent this deep sleep. Once the victim awakens, he or she may be disoriented for a while.
Be sure to stay with the victim until he or she recovers fully, or until emergency medical help arrives. Also, keep an eye on the victim’s breathing rate and pulse.
Do not do the following things for a seizure victim. You will risk hurting the seizure victim and yourself:
- Do not restrain someone having a seizure.
- Do not put a spoon, tongue depressor or anything else in his or her mouth, especially not your fingers. It is a myth that seizure victims can swallow their tongues.
- Do not move the victim unless he or she is in immediate danger or near a hazard.
- Do not perform artificial respiration during a seizure, even if the victim is turning blue. Most seizures are over long before brain damage from lack of oxygen begins. However, if a seizure lasts longer than two minutes, call for emergency medical help.
- Do not give the victim food, drink or medication by mouth until the seizure has stopped and he or she is completely awake and alert.
Call immediately for emergency medical help for someone who:
- has seizures lasting longer than two minutes or has more than one seizure per hour
- does not wake up between two seizures
- is injured, ill or intoxicated
- has a seizure for the first time
- is pregnant or has diabetes or high blood pressure
- has a seizure in water
After other seizures, call the seizure victim’s healthcare provider.
The information contained in or made available through This Site cannot replace or substitute for the services of trained professionals in the medical field. We do not recommend any treatment, drug, food or supplement. You should regularly consult a doctor in all matters relating to physical or mental health, particularly concerning any symptoms that may require diagnosis or medical attention.