Epilepsy First Aid
By stacey chillemi
1. Keep Calm
Seizures may appear frightening to the persone who is watching the seizure. They usually last only a few minutes and generally do not require medical attention.
Remember that the person having a seizure may be unaware of their actions and may or may not hear you.
2. Protect from further injury.
If necessary, ease the person to the floor.
Move any hard, sharp or hot objects well away.
Protect the person's head and body from injury. Loosen any tight neckwear.
3. Do not restrain the person.
If danger threatens, gently guide the person away.
Agitation during seizure episodes is common.
Trying to restrain or grabbing hold of someone having a seizure is likely to make the agitation worse and may trigger an instinctive aggressive response.
4. Do not insert anything in the mouth.
The person is not going to swallow the tongue.
Attempting to force open the mouth may break the teeth or cause other oral injuries.
5. Roll the person on their side after the seizure subsides.
This enables saliva to flow from the mouth, helping to ensure an open air passage. If there is vomit, keep the person on their side and clear out their mouth with your finger.
6. If a seizure lasts longer than 5 minutes, or repeats without full recovery ~ SEEK MEDICAL ASSISTANCE IMMEDIATELY.
7. Talk gently to the person.
After any type of seizure, comfort and reassure the person to assist them in reorienting themselves. The person may need to rest or sleep. If the person wanders, stay with them and talk gently to them.
Check for a MedicAlert? or other Medical ID Bracelet
The bracelet or necklet may indicate the seizure type and any medication the person is taking. 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 member's file.
Seizure First Aid for Persons in Wheelchairs
For someone having a tonic-clonic seizure in a wheelchair
During the Seizure
1. Keep calm and let the seizure run its course.
2. Hold up the wheelchair and ensure the brakes are on to protect him or her from injury.
3. Do not put anything in the person's mouth.
4. Remove anything from the area that may cause injury or could be a hazard to someone who is temporarily unaware of their location or actions.
After the Seizure
1. Set the wheelchair to a "partial recline" position (not "full recline").
2. Gently turn the person's head to the side to let the saliva flow out of the mouth.
3. Let the person rest or sleep if it is needed.
4. Be reassuring, comforting and calm as awareness returns.
First Aid in the Water
If a seizure occurs while a person is in the water, follow these procedures.
1. While in the water, Turn the person face up.
2. Support the face out of the water.
3. Tilt head back to keep airway clear.
4. Get the person out of the water as soon as possible.
5. Once out of the water, Place person on their side.
6. Check to see if person is breathing.
7. If the person is not breathing, begin resuscitation promptly.
8. Call an ambulance immediately. This is essential.
After the emergency
1. Ensure that the person has a medical check-up promptly.
(Inhaling or swallowing water may cause medical problems.)
Check out Stacey's new children's book, "My Mommy is Having a Seizure."