How to respond quickly when meeting someone having a seizure

Epileptic seizures are completely harmless and may go away on their own after a few minutes. However, families and people around need to know how to handle people having a seizure to ensure patient safety and minimize injuries and accidents.

Recognizing a Seizure

Seizures are essentially seizures caused by epilepsy. Epilepsy is a central nervous system disorder that occurs when a brain disorder causes a group of nerve cells to discharge excessively. The result is an outbreak of convulsions accompanied by various manifestations such as loss of consciousness, body stiffness, foaming at the mouth, etc.

The seizures will last for a few seconds and can last for 2 to 3 minutes. After the seizures, the patient regains consciousness and returns to a normal state. Essentially, epileptic seizures are harmless. It is important that those around the patient help the patient avoid accidents, collisions, and trauma during attacks.

Seizures often occur suddenly and without warning. Therefore, family, friends and colleagues should be equipped with epilepsy knowledge to help patients when seizures flare up. Seizures caused by epilepsy will manifest differently in each case.

How to deal with someone having a seizure?

Families should actively equip themselves with knowledge to recognize epileptic seizures

Here are some signs to help people around recognize an epileptic seizure for timely and proper treatment.

Generalized convulsion:

  • Generalized seizures are characterized by very sudden onset. The patient often makes a cry and then falls to the ground and loses consciousness completely.
  • In the first minute, the entire body muscles, extremities are contracted, the arms are contracted and the legs are straightened. The patient may bite the tongue, turn blue and stop breathing.
  • The patient then transitions to a phase of myoclonus lasting about one minute with symptoms such as eyes widening, mouth foaming sometimes with blood, blinking eyes, and intermittent muscle twitches.
  • After the convulsion stops, the patient falls into a deep coma, urinates in his pants and gasps.
  • When the attack is over, the patient wakes up and regains consciousness. At this time, most patients feel fatigue and headache. Because of the complete loss of consciousness, the patient has no idea what happened during the attack.

Local seizures:

  • Partial seizures usually occur in only one part or part of the body. However, there are also cases of partial convulsions that later spread to the whole body into generalized convulsions.
  • Symptoms are similar to generalized convulsions but sometimes only partial loss of consciousness. As a result, some patients remain aware of what happens during a seizure.

Absence of consciousness:

  • Absence of consciousness occurs mainly in children
  • The child will suddenly lose consciousness for about 15 seconds. The family can detect through symptoms such as stupor, becoming lethargic and completely stopping the activities they are doing.

Myoclonus in children:

  • Manifested by muscle flexion in the upper extremities, neck, face, and trunk
  • Often accompanied by mental disorders

Psychomotor epilepsy (temporal epilepsy):

  • Temporal epilepsy is a rather special disease when the patient does not have convulsions but has psychotic episodes and lasts from a few days to a few weeks.
  • The patient is talkative, paranoid, agitated, and experiences hallucinations.
  • Some cases are associated with epileptic symptoms of other diseases.

Dystonic seizures (powerless seizures):

  • The patient suddenly loses all muscle tone, becomes flaccid, sits down, or falls to the ground
  • A powerless seizure will last about 30-60 seconds

Status epilepticus:

  • Status epilepticus occurs in succession, varying from one episode to another
  • Status epilepticus is divided into two types, major seizures and absence seizures.
  • The major episode is characterized by coma between two episodes, increased sputum secretion, and is accompanied by autonomic dysfunction.
  • The absence of consciousness is characterized by multiple seizures, but the patient remains conscious in between.

In fact, there are many types of seizures, but the most common are generalized and partial seizures. These are two attacks that need to be handled to avoid the patient’s tongue biting, injury, and strong impact during the attack.

How to quickly deal with someone having a seizure

Once they know how to recognize a seizure, the family and those around them should learn how to respond to help the patient during seizures. As mentioned, epileptic seizures are completely harmless. The most important thing is to help the patient ensure breathing and avoid injury and collision during the attack.

How to deal with someone having a seizure?

When meeting someone who is having a seizure, place the patient on a flat surface and make sure the airway is clear

When you notice that the patient has a seizure, it is necessary to calmly handle the following steps:

  • First of all, it is necessary to stay calm, avoid panic and stress.
  • Immediately after the patient has had a seizure, the watch should be viewed to calculate the length of the seizure. This is of great help in diagnosing epilepsy and determining its severity.
  • Gently support the patient onto a flat surface such as a bed or floor. If you are not strong enough, you should ask for the support of those around you.
  • During a seizure, the patient may lose consciousness and lose control of their behavior. Therefore, it is advisable to ensure that the patient is located in a safe place, and remove hard, pointed and sharp objects to avoid injury.
  • Then, loosen clothing, remove towels and glasses (if applicable) to ensure the patient is breathing easily.
  • Have the patient prop a pillow or you can use a folded jacket under the head to limit injury.
  • Then, put the patient on their side to facilitate breathing and help the fluid from the mouth to drain out completely. In case of foaming at the mouth, use a soft cloth placed under the patient’s mouth to absorb the fluid.
  • Stay with the patient until the patient regains consciousness and regains consciousness.

Seizures are a typical symptom of epilepsy and are completely harmless. However, after convulsions, patients often fall into a state of low self-esteem, guilt and always feel like they are a burden on the family. Therefore, after the attack, the family and people around should give encouragement to lift the patient’s spirit and help them have the motivation for treatment.

What not to do with a patient having a seizure

In fact, many people do not know how to react quickly when they meet someone who has a seizure and do it the wrong way. This is dangerous and increases the risk of injury to the patient. To avoid this situation, it is important to understand what not to do for patients with epilepsy during an attack:

  • Absolutely do not panic. If you have no experience, you should seek help from those around you.
  • Do not pin or press on the patient’s body and do not use hands to hold the patient’s arms and legs during seizures. This can cause muscle injuries, dislocations, and sometimes fractures.
  • Many people are afraid that the patient will bite their tongue, so they intentionally put hard objects into the patient’s mouth. However, it should only be done if directed by your doctor. Failure to do so can result in patient airway obstruction and death.
  • Do not force the patient to drink water, take medicine and do not squeeze lemon into the patient’s mouth because these measures are completely ineffective. Otherwise, it can cause suffocation and respiratory arrest.
  • Do not press on the patient’s chest or nucleus pulposus in the traditional way. Epileptic seizures will resolve on their own, so the only thing that should be done is to ensure the patient’s safety during this time.

When to call an ambulance?

Seizures in epileptic patients are common and usually not cause for concern. After about 2-3 minutes, the attacks will subside on their own, the patient regains consciousness and returns to the usual alert state. However, some seizures can be long-lasting and be accompanied by unusual symptoms.

How to deal with someone having a seizure?

In case the patient does not wake up after 2-3 minutes, it is advisable to call an ambulance for timely treatment

You should call 911 if you notice the patient has the following symptoms:

  • Doesn’t wake up after 2-3 minutes
  • The seizure lasts more than 5 minutes
  • Convulsions occur consecutively and repeatedly
  • Patient has a seizure while pregnant or has a high fever
  • Having a seizure while in the water
  • Patients with respiratory arrest or trauma after a seizure
  • Also, call 911 if this is your first time having a seizure.

Seizures caused by epilepsy will occur quite often. Although the condition is harmless, patients can suffer injuries, falls, and airway obstruction if the family does not know how to handle it. To ensure the patient can study and work normally, family, teachers, friends and colleagues should all be equipped with how to deal with someone having a seizure.

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