Seizures are pretty common. Chances are that you will witness one in your lifetime. You should know what to do if that happens!
- Try to stay calm!
- Put something soft under the person's head to cushion in. A pillow is ideal but in a pinch you can use a jacket, blanket, or something similar.
- Move anything near by that the person could injure themselves on.
- If you can, roll the person onto their side in case the vomit.
- If this is a first seizure for the person or you don't know call 911.
- If this is not a first seizure you may not need to call 911 unless it lasts more than 5 minutes, the person stops breathing, or they are injured during the seizure.
- Never try to restrain the person! You could accidentally injure them or yourself.
- Never try to put something in their mouth so they won't bite or swallow their tongue. You're more likely to get bitten than prevent an injury to the person seizing.
- Don't leave the person alone. After they come around from the seizure they might seem totally aware but they could still be post ictal. This is a period of time after a seizure but before a person is completely aware. My post ictal period lasts for the entire day after a seizure! I act normally but will have little to no memory of the day later.
There are many different types of seizures. They can range from someone just staring off into space and being unresponsive for a few minutes to the full blown tonic clonic (formerly known as grand mal) seizure that you typically see on TV shows and in movies. If you have a body part that just won't stop moving on its own, it could be a seizure and you need to get looked at.
I hope that this information is useful if you ever see someone seizing. It is a very scary thing to see but you can make it easier if you know what to do!