What to do when someone has a seizure

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Inside the brain when an epileptic seizure occurrs
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Some tips on what to do if you see someone having a seizure

Knowing what to do when someone has a seizure is as equally important as knowing what not to do in such a circumstance. Although watching someone in the throes of a seizure can be very frightening, if you have a friend or relative that suffers from seizures, you should know more about them and understand their symptoms. There are two kinds; Tonic-Clonic (convulsions, grand mal) and Non-Convulsive seizures). Usually, they only last a few minutes and do not require medical attention, but the most helpful thing you can do as an observer is to stay calm and protect the person having the seizure.

Knowing what to do when someone has a seizure includes noting carefully the symptoms indicated in order to tell the doctor. There can be different kinds of symptoms, which can include: involuntary muscle contractions of one body part (face, finger, hand, or arm) that may spread to other or same-side body parts, hallucinations, vertigo, sensations of déjà vu, unwarranted anger or fear and sweating.


Some guidelines when someone is having a Tonic-Clonic or complex partial seizure

1- Stay calm

The most important thing to do is to stay calm and protect the person experiencing the seizure.

2- Cushion the person’s head

Head trauma can occur during a seizure if the person bangs his or her head against a hard surface. Use any available soft object you can find, even your own foot will do, if nothing else is available. 2- Loosen restrictive clothing to ease breathing Breathing can be impaired and choking can occur due to a build up of saliva in the mouth, which happens because the person having the seizure cannot swallow it.. You must also always keep the person’s airway open. You may need to tilt the head back or grip the person’s jaw gently in order to do this.

3- Do not restrain or hold down

A gentle hand and a soft voice are critical tools when you need to know what to do when someone has a seizure. Do not ever attempt to restrain a person during a seizure unless there is some sort of imminent physical danger. Such action may cause aggressive behavior.

Guidelines for Non-Convulsive seizures

 In terms of common sense, the guidelines here are pretty much the same except that sometimes with a non-convulsive seizure, the person may exhibit some weird or offensive behavior and wander aimlessly about. Should that occur, do not try to inhibit movement, but bear this in mind:

1- Remove dangerous obstacles

Remove anything dangerous in the pathway of a wandering epileptic.

2- Never put anything in the mouth

Do not ever insert any object in the person's mouth (both types of seizures). This will not prevent him or her from biting or swallowing their tongue, as some people think. In fact, such action can cause more harm by breaking teeth or becoming lost in the throat, leading to choking.

3- Never shake the person or shout

This can only lead to chaos and confusion through the eyes of the person having the seizure.

4- Stay with the person until the seizure ends

After the seizure, you should gently turn the person's head to the side to let the saliva flow out of the mouth. The person may be groggy and have a headache. Confusion and embarrassment may also occur, and in this instance, kindness and patience are the best tools. Tell the person what happened and help him or her find a place to rest until they recover.

What to do when someone has a seizure relies on common sense and in keeping calm. It can be a terrifying spectacle to watch, but in order to be helpful, you must contain yourself and be there for that person. Remember these guidelines and all will be grateful that you did the right thing, most of all the person suffering from a seizure.

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