What To Do When Someone Has A Seizure

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What To Do When Someone Has A Seizure

Houston Emergency Room – Observing someone having a seizure can be frightening. The most important thing to remember is to stay calm. By remaining calm, you can help the seizing person remain safe. Additionally, you can take mental notes to report to medical personnel.

Things to Know About Seizures

Most seizures last about 90 seconds and can cause a person to lose control of some or all parts of their body. Medical attention may be needed after the seizure has stopped.

Signs of a Seizure

  • Violent shaking/trembling
  • Loss of awareness – the person doesn’t seem to see or hear you
  • Difficulty speaking – speech becomes slurred or incoherent
  • Pupils may become dilated, or eyes may roll back, showing the whites
  • Unconsciousness

What You Can Do

  • Remain calm.
  • If the person is standing as they begin to seize, gently lower them to the floor.
  • Place the person on their side to allow any fluids to flow out of their mouth.
  • Keep the person safe by clearing the area around them of any objects that they may bump into.
  • Do not restrain the person. Do not put anything in the person’s mouth.
  • Try to note how long the seizure lasts.
  • Stay with the person until the seizure is over.

When to Seek Medical Assistance

  • If the person is elderly, pregnant or a child call 911 immediately.  These conditions require immediate emergency attention.
  • If the seizure lasted 5 minutes or longer.
  • If the person has a fever or complained of a headache before the seizure.
  • Check for a medic alert bracelet or other jewelry that says “Epilepsy”.
  • If the person had consumed toxic substances (including non-prescribed drugs) or breathed in chemical fumes before the seizure.
  • If the person has had other seizures in the previous 24 hours.
  • If the person fails to function normally (seems confused, speech is affected, is having difficulty remembering important personal information) for more than an hour after the seizure.

Preventing further injury to the person is a top priority. Because it is not unusual for a person who has had a seizure to be confused and disoriented after a seizure, it is important that you remain calm and comforting. Be ready to report to the medical personnel approximately how long the seizure lasted along with any other information you may have regarding the beginning of the seizure and its aftereffects.

Sacred Heart Emergency Room readily assesses, monitors, and treats people suffering from serious complications in case of a seizure. If you are located within the Houston area, call us at (832) 358-0200.

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