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Posted April 10, 2023 by Marvin Rossi, M.D., Ph.D.
It may come as a surprise, but seizures are actually a common condition. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 1 out of 10 people may have a seizure during their lifetime. With stats like that, you may one day find that you need to help someone during or after a seizure.
Witnessing a person having a seizure can be a truly scary event, but following general first-aid guidelines can help you provide the right care to keep a person safe.
Seizures can range from simple partial seizures, where a person briefly loses conscious activity, to focal or complex partial seizures, where a person is unresponsive and stares blankly, to the most generalized seizure that affects the entire brain. A person having a generalized seizure may fully lose consciousness and may fall, shake aggressively and have difficulty breathing. Though there are many types of seizures, most end within a few minutes.
Here are general dos and don’ts when helping someone having a seizure of any type and when you should dial 9-1-1. There isn’t much you can do to stop a seizure once it starts, but there are simple steps you can take to protect a person having a seizure from harm.
Dos for seizure first aid:
Don’ts for seizure first aid:
When to seek emergency care for someone having a seizure
In many cases, seizures do not require emergency medical attention. However, dial 9-1-1 if the person:
About Summa Health’s Comprehensive Epilepsy Center
The Summa Health Comprehensive Epilepsy Center is one of the country’s only population health-centric epilepsy treatment centers. We offer individuals afflicted with epilepsy-associated challenges:
Our epilepsy neurologists, advanced practice providers and team members work together to tailor medical and advanced surgical care options for at-risk and vulnerable populations under a population health model. In addition, they coordinate wraparound services for mental health challenges often co-occurring with epilepsy. Lastly, they educate patients, their families and caregivers to maintain preventive practices outside of the medical center.
For more information, please talk with your physician or call the Summa Health Comprehensive Epilepsy Center at 234.867.6970.