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First Aid: Seizures

A seizure results from a sudden rush of abnormal electrical signals in the brain. Symptoms may range from a minor daze to uncontrollable muscle spasms (convulsion). In some cases, the victim may even lose consciousness. A seizure can be caused by a high fever, head injury, drug reaction, or condition such as epilepsy.

1. Protect the Head

  • ImageHelp the victim to the floor if he or she begins losing muscle control. Turn the person on his or her side to prevent choking.

  • Protect the victim's head from injury by placing something soft, such as folded clothes, beneath it, and by moving objects away from the victim.

  • DON'T cause injury by restraining the person or by placing anything in his or her mouth.

2.  Preserve Dignity

  • ImageClear away bystanders.

  • Reassure the victim, who may be confused, drowsy, or hostile when coming out of the seizure.

  • Cover the person or provide dry clothes if muscle spasms have caused a loss of bladder control.

3. Check for Injury

  • Make sure the victim's mental state has returned to normal. One way to do this is to ask the person his or her name, the year, and your location.

  • Look for any injury to the mouth and head.

4. Call 911

  • If the seizure lasts longer than 3 minutes

  • If a second seizure occurs

  • If the victim doesn’t regain consciousness

  • If the victim is pregnant

  • If the victim has no history of seizures

 

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