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Neurodiagnostics – EEG neurology – in home neurodiagnostics – outpatient EEG neurology – Stratus Neurodiagnostics

Seizure First Aid

Seizure First Aid
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Epilepsy is a common neurological condition that will impact 1 out of 26 people in the US at some point in their life1. According to the CDC, 1/4th (25%) of US adults in 2013 reported they would be nervous around a person with epilepsy2. Knowing how to provide seizure first aid can reduce fears, and help you stay calm and in control if you ever find yourself around someone experiencing a seizure. Below we outline the steps for seizure first aid, following the Epilepsy Foundation’s simple steps, Stay, Safe, Side.3

Seizure First Aid Steps

  1. Stay with the person until seizing ends
  2. Keep the person safe by gently guiding them to the floor (clear away any sharp/hazardous objects around them)
  3. Roll the person onto their side to help them breathe

Seizure Do’s

  • Time the seizure (If the seizure lasts longer than 5 minutes, call 911)
  • Keep yourself and others calm
  • Check for any medical tags or bracelets
  • Remove glasses, loosen their tie and remove anything else that may be around their neck
  • Place something soft under their head
  • Tell the person what happened clearly and with simple terms
  • Make sure the person gets home safely

Seizure Don’ts

  • Do not try to hold the person still or restrict their movements
  • Do not place anything in the person’s mouth – this can hurt their jaw or teeth (Despite older ways of thinking, it is not possible for a person to swallow their own tongue when experiencing a seizure, so there is no need to try and block their teeth.)
  • Do not try to perform CPR (mouth to mouth)
  • Do not offer the person food or water

REMINDER: not every seizure requires a call to 911. Per the CDC4, only call emergency services if:

  • The person has never had a seizure before
  • The person has difficulty breathing or walking after seizure
  • Seizure lasts longer than 5 minutes
  • The person has another seizure soon after the first one
  • Person is hurt during the seizure
  • Seizure happens in water
  • Person has a health condition like diabetes, heart disease, or is pregnant
  • Person does not return to their normal state

References

1. Institute of Medicine (US) Committee on the Public Health Dimensions of the Epilepsies, England MJ, Liverman CT, Schultz AM, & Strawbridge LM, eds. Epilepsy Across the Spectrum: Promoting Health and Understanding. Washington (DC): National Academies Press (US); 2012. Doi: 10.17226/13379

2. Cui W, Kobau R, Zack M, Buelow J, & Austin J. Recent changes in attitudes of US adults toward people with epilepsy – Results from the 2005 SummerStyles and 2013 FallStyles surveys. Epilepsy Behav. 2015; 52(Pt A): 108 – 118. Doi: 10.1016/j.yebeh.2015.08.040

3. Osborne Shafer P. Epilepsy Foundation. First aid for seizures – Stay, Safe, Side. [Internet]. Landover, MD: Epilepsy Foundation; 2020, June 10 [cited 2020 Dec 1]. Available from: https://epilepsy.com/firstaid

4. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Seizure first aid. [Internet]. Atlanta, GA: Center for Disease Control and Prevention, 2020, September 30 [cited 2020 Dec 1]. Available from https://www.cdc.gov/epilepsy/about/first-aid.htm seizu

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We appreciate your message and our neurodiagnostic services pros will be in touch soon.

In the meantime, visit our resources for the latest blog posts and other insights.
You may also reach us via phone at 888.982.8492.