Absence seizure

For someone having an absence or simple partial seizure no first aid is generally needed, except for repeating what they may have missed or assisting as needed until the seizure ends.

Complex partial seizure

Time the seizure. Speak calmly. It is important not to grab or hold a person having a complex partial seizure. Some people having this type of seizure may become agitated or strike out if restrained. It is important to know that this behavior is not a conscious act of aggression. Explain to others what is happening. Guide away from hazards.

Generalized tonic-clonic seizure

For a generalized tonic-clonic seizure, the first thing to do is stay calm. Keep track of the time. Cushion head and protect from hazards like nearby furniture. Turn the person on one side to prevent choking. Check for medical alert identification, if it’s someone you don’t know. Explain to others what is happening. Stay until the person is fully aware and offer help. Asking simple questions until the person can answer may be the best way to determine that they are fully aware. Be a friend when the seizure is over.

All seizures

For any type of seizure, never put anything in the person’s mouth. Never hold down or restrain the person. Never try to give oral medication during the seizure. Never leave the person on their back. Never give artificial respiration unless the person stops breathing. Never tease someone who has just had a seizure. Call an ambulance if seizure occurs in a person not known to have seizures. If the seizure lasts more than 5 minutes. If another seizure begins before consciousness is regained. Or if the person is injured or pregnant, recovers slowly, does not resume normal breathing, or has diabetes or another medical condition.

Although most seizures end naturally without emergency treatment, a seizure in someone who does not have epilepsy could be a sign of a serious illness.

Call for medical assistance if:

* The seizure last more than 5 minutes

* A second seizure starts shortly after the first has ended

* The person has difficulty breathing after coming our of the seizure

* Consciousness does not return after the physical shaking has stopped

* No medical ID card on the person and there is no way of knowing if the seizure is caused by epilepsy

* The seizure has happened in water

* The person has a medical condition such as diabetes.