Seeing someone having a seizure can be shocking. However, seizures are not always a serious emergency for people with epilepsy. Epilepsy causes the brain’s electrical rhythms to become unbalanced, causing sudden bursts of signals. This is what causes seizures.
Fortunately, seizures can be treated and controlled with maintenance medications. However, people with epilepsy who forget to take their medication may experience more frequent or severe seizures and put themselves at risk.
If you see a stranger or a loved one having a seizure, frantically look for “epilepsy medicine” Google isn’t going to make things better. To make sure you don’t hurt yourself or others during a seizure, take the following first aid steps:
with a person with epilepsy
When you see someone having a seizure, the first thing you do is never leave their side. People with epilepsy have no control over their body muscles, so they may accidentally fall to the ground, putting themselves at risk. Someone watching over them can keep them safe. Remember to stay calm so as not to hurt the patient and yourself.
keep yourself safe
The next thing you want to do is keep your patients safe. If the person is having a seizure in a crowded area, have people clear the area and give the patient some space. Next, remove anything that could cause injury (eg, chairs, tables, and potted plants) from nearby so that the patient does not accidentally injure themselves.
It’s also a good idea to loosen up their clothing and any accessories around their necks that might restrict their breathing. Additionally, removing jewelry such as rings and bracelets can prevent the patient from scratching the face. To protect the back of their head, find something soft to cushion it. Finally, reassure the patient that you will be with them until they recover.
However, steps to ensure patient safety vary depending on the exact location of the seizure. For example, if the person has a seizure in a wheelchair, have them sit in the seat with the seat belt fastened and the wheelchair’s brakes engaged. Then, support their head until the seizure is over. The only time the seat belt should be unbuckled and the person removed from the wheelchair is when the wheelchair causes an injury.
If the person has a seizure in the water, such as in a swimming pool, support their head to keep their face out of the water. Tilt their head back to make sure they get a clear airway and get them out of the water as quickly as possible. You can also use a flotation device to make rescue operations easier. After the patient is out of the water, put them on their side and check that they are breathing. In this case, call an ambulance immediately.
turn people around
After the seizure subsides, be sure to gently turn the patient to one side. This will help them breathe more easily after a seizure. Some people also feel nauseous after a seizure, placing them on their side to make sure they don’t vomit on themselves.
Make sure they’re all right before you leave
It may take a while for patients to fully realize that they have had a seizure, so it is best to stay with them until they are fully recovered. Your reassurance can help them feel safe and save them from the overwhelming feeling of having a seizure in public. During this time, you can ask them if they have family or friends who can pick them up or accompany them from now on. Proactively call and wait until their family or friends arrive before leaving.
When is the right time to call an ambulance?
As mentioned earlier, most people with epilepsy do not consider seizures to be full-blown emergencies. However, in some cases, professional medical help must be sought. Call an ambulance right away if you are helping someone with a seizure:
- Seizures lasting five minutes or more
- Injury, illness, or pregnancy of a person with a seizure
- The patient has difficulty breathing
- Another seizure occurs immediately after the first seizure and the person has not regained consciousness
- The patient cannot return to normal
- if this is the person’s first seizure
- If a person with a seizure requires medical help
epilepsy patients can experience a seizure unexpectedly
If they don’t get the right help, they can hurt themselves and even those around them. That said, helping someone with a seizure requires proper care to ensure that the patient can safely emerge from the seizure. By remembering these first aid tips for dealing with seizures, you can increase your patient’s chances of regaining consciousness in a safe and calm environment.