EPILEPSY: FIRST AID AND SAFETY
Epilepsy is a common brain disorder characterized by recurring unprovoked seizures.
Medication helps 70% of individuals with epilepsy control their seizures. People who continue to have seizures are more vulnerable to the risks associated with seizures, particularly when seizures occur without warning and impair awareness.
Seizures can cause injuries or falls, and they can also be fatal. The dangers associated with various types of seizures vary.
Life is never risk-free, but taking proactive steps to lessen your seizures, considering risks specific to you, and discussing seizure management with your doctor are all good places to start.
FIRST AID FOR EPILEPTIC SEIZURES
If you are with someone who is experiencing a tonic-clonic seizure (body stiffening followed by general muscle jerks), try to:
- Stay calm and remain with the person.
- If they have food or fluid in their mouth, roll them onto their side immediately.
- Keep them safe and protect them from injury.
- Place something soft under their head and loosen any tight clothing.
- Reassure the person until they recover.
- Time the seizure, if you can.
- Gently roll the person onto their side after the jerking stops.
- Do not put anything into their mouth or restrain or move the person, unless they are in danger.
WHEN SHOULD YOU CONTACT AN AMBULANCE FOR AN EPILEPTIC SEIZURE?
Call for an ambulance if:
- the seizure lasts for 5 or more minutes or longer than what is normal for the person
- a second seizure quickly follows
- the person is not responding for more than 5 minutes after the seizure ends
- the person has breathing difficulties after the jerking stops
- it is the person’s first known seizure
- the seizure occurs in water
- the person is injured
- you are in doubt