What to do if someone is having a Seizure | First Aid for Seizures

Seizures, fitting, or convulsions. They can occur for all sorts of reasons. They can occur if someone
has a bang on the head, if the blood flow to
the head is interrupted for some reason, maybe
somebody’s had a stroke. Seizures can occur if
somebody has fainted. Seizures can occur in a cardiac arrest. If you have a high temperature and sometimes they just
happen for no apparent reason. And also, the person might be epileptic. So if somebody’s having a seizure, the most important thing
is that you protect both their safety and their dignity. So initially what might happen
is, depending on the type of seizure, and there’s lots
of different types of seizures, it could be that they make
a sort of screaming sound, and that might sound like they’re in pain and can be quite disturbing, but it’s the muscles
contracting and forcing the air out of the lungs. They could then collapse onto the ground, with rigid, out-of-control movements. If that’s happening, protect their safety. Protect their head if you can, don’t restrain them in any way, but support them maybe with a coat or a couple of cushions or something. Just supporting either side of their head so that they’re not in
danger of banging their head. Protect their dignity and make sure that nobody’s watching, they
may well be incontinent, and obviously, it’s not
a nice thing to happen. So you’re looking after them whilst they can’t look after themselves. Time the seizure, look at your watch and time when it first happened. It’s possible they could
stop breathing at some point, but if they’re still having their seizure, you keep timing it and you keep
looking after their safety. When the seizure stops,
it’s really important that you check to see
if they’re breathing. A seizure can occur when
somebody has a cardiac arrest, and obviously if that was the case, you would need to start CPR
straight away at that point. If they are breathing, you need to help put them in the recovery
position and sit with them and reassure them as they
start to come around. If the seizure lasts for
more than five minutes, make sure you phone an ambulance. If they are taking an awful long time to come around after the seizure, again, make sure the
ambulance is on the way. And always call the
ambulance, call an ambulance if it’s somebody’s first seizure or if they have regular seizures but it’s not in their usual pattern. It could be taking longer than usual, or if they’re having repeated seizures. When somebody’s having a seizure, the blood supply to the
brain is not as efficient as it normally is, and so if they have prolonged
seizures or multiple seizures, the seizures need to be stopped, which is why you need
the paramedics quickly so that they can administer medication to stop the seizures happening.

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