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First Aid

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Click here for a one-page first aid sheet (PDF format).

In all types of seizures, the goal is to protect the person from harm until full awareness returns. The less is done to a person during a relatively brief seizure, the better.

Regardless of the seizure type, the following recommendations should be followed:

  • Do not be frightened if the person appears to stop breathing for a few seconds. This is common.
  • If a child has a seizure, notify the parents or guardians.
  • Check for medical or emergency identification.
  • If you call the MedicAlert hotline, an operator can direct you in your first aid procedures, and may direct you to call any emergency contacts and physicians listed in that members’ file.
  • If a seizure lasts longer than five minutes, or repeats without full recovery, Seek medical assistance immediately. Although this rarely occurs, status epilepticus is life-threatening, serious medical emergency.

In the event of non-convulsive (i.e. absence or simple partial) seizures:

  • No first aid is required.
  • Reassure the person.

In the event of complex partial seizures:

  • Do not restrain the person.
  • Protect the person from injury by moving sharp or hot objects away
  • If wandering occurs, stay with the person and talk quietly.

Familiarize yourself with the first aid procedures for:

Emergency Response Tips

Take active steps to reduce the risks of injury associated with seizures by familiarizing yourself with these Safety Issues.

Click here to return to the About Epilepsy page.

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