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What to do When Someone Has a Seizure

Updated on October 5, 2011

Epilepsy is a brain disorder which causes a person to have multiple seizures over time. Seizures can cause attention and behavior problems due to changes in brain activity. When a person has a seizure their arms and legs will move uncontrollably. They will sometimes stare into space and not know where they are. They may pass out too. The person having the seizure does not know it is happening and there are usually no warning signs.

The causes of seizures are alcohol poisoning, serious brain injury, brain injury right before or during birth, brain problems present during birth, stress, dementia, infections such as AIDS, meningitis, and brain abscess, metabolism problems in children, abnormal blood vessels in the brain and other illnesses that can destroy brain tissue.

My husband has epilepsy and has a seizure every once in a while. He quit taking his medication over a year ago for the seizures and seemed to be fine until yesterday. Yesterday he had four seizures. They were not bad so he did not need to go to the hospital. Most people with seizures do not need to go to the hospital unless injury occurs during the seizure or they have multiple ones without coming out of them. I still wanted him to go because he had so many of them but he refused. If I would have called 911 they would have asked him to go but would have been unable to force him to go to the hospital as they have told me this before. He seems to be fine today except he has no energy. Seizures can cause a person to feel weak and tired afterward.

Here are some things you can do during and after someone has a seizure to make sure they are and will be alright.

Stay Calm

Try to stay calm when someone near you is going through a seizure. It will be hard to stay calm if you have never witnessed one before because they are scary to watch but it is important for you to stay calm so you can help them during and after.

Prevent injury

If someone having a seizure falls on the floor, try to prevent their head from hitting the floor or other hard surfaces. Either place you hand under their head or a pillow. If they hit their head they can seriously hurt themselves. Also, keep objects away from their head, neck and mouth and do not ever put anything in their mouth or they could choke.

Stay With Them

Although it can be scary to witness a seizure, make sure to stay with the person going through one. They will need someone to help them during and after and may be afraid and confused when they wake up.

Talk to Them Afterward

Talk to the person afterward in a calm and soothing voice when they come out of it, and they will come out of it on their own. Ask them questions such as who the current president is and what their age and birth date is. Explain to them afterward what happened to them and ask if they would like to go get checked. Although those with seizures usually do not need to go to the hospital, if it is their first one they may want to be reassured they are alright.

Call for Help if Needed

If they injure themselves during the seizure such as hitting their head or landing on a sharp or hard object and hurting another part of their body, call 911 or take them to the hospital. If they have multiple seizures without coming out of them call 911 immediately and send for an ambulance. Normally they will be fine but things do happen.

For those who have seizures and are on medication, never quit taking it for any reason unless speaking to your doctor first. My husband quit taking his because it can cause Steven's Johnson Syndrome and he was fine for a whole year or so until yesterday. Now I am trying to get him back on his medication so we can prevent seizures from happening again and so often.

Also, do not drive or operate heavy equipment if you have seizures unless you speak to your doctor and they say it is fine as long as you stay on your medication. My husband had a seizure at the wheel two years ago and wrecked the car. He almost died because he flipped the car on its top and the seat belt was wrapped around his neck. This happened at seven in the morning and I did not even know he left until someone came to the door and told me he was in a wreck up the road. He would have died if a guy wasn't driving by and stopped to see what happened. This man had to cut the seat belt off my husbands neck and pull him out. He then called 911. Sine then, my husband does not drive because of this.

Witnessing a seizure can be scary even if you have seen one before but the person will be alright and they will come out of it on their own.

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    • cwilson72180 profile image
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      Clarissa Wilson 6 years ago from Ohio

      Hi Megan, That is really not a good idea. The person who sees the seizure is only supposed to make sure the person having the seizure does not hit their head on anything. They are also supposed to allow them to come out of the seizure on their own. You should see a doctor and get on medication for the seizures. Thanks for the comment!

    • profile image

      Megan 6 years ago

      I have had seizures many times, my man puts a wet wash cloth on my fast and slaps me to wake me up is that good or would that make it worse

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