FIRST AID FOR SEIZURES IS SIMPLE–Stay calm & make sure that the person seizing is safe from harm.
- Stay calm and reassure others nearby.
- Don’t hold the person down or try to stop his/her movements.
- Time the seizure with your watch.
- Clear the area around (remove anything hard or sharp).
- Loosen ties or anything around the neck that may make breathing difficult.
- Put something flat and soft, like a folded jacket, under the head.
- Turn him/her gently onto one side as this will help keep the airway clear.
- Do not force the mouth open.
- The person seizing CANNOT swallow his/her tongue- efforts to hold the tongue down can break teeth or injure the jaw.
- Don’t attempt artificial respiration except in the unlikely event that the person does not start breathing again after the seizure has stopped.
- Stay until the seizure ends naturally.
- Be friendly and reassuring as consciousness returns. Offer to call a taxi, friend, or relative to help the person get home if he/she seems confused or unable to do this alone.
TAKE A.C.T.I.O.N. – Quick Steps!
A-Assess the Situation: Is the person in danger? Remove nearby objects.
C-Cushion the head for protection.
T-Time: Check the time. If the seizure lasts longer than five minutes, call an ambulance.
I-Identity: Look for a medical bracelet or ID card. It may give you information about the person’s seizures and particular things to do.
O-Over: Turn the person on his/her side when possible. Stay and provide reassurance.
N-NEVER restrain the person, put something in his/her mouth, or try to give food or drink.
WHEN TO CALL FOR AN AMBULANCE
No Need To Call An Ambulance If:
- medical I.D. jewelry or card says “epilepsy”
- the seizure ends in under 5 minutes
- consciousness returns without a further incident
- there are no signs of injury, physical distress, or pregnancy
An Ambulance Should Be Called If:
- the seizure has happened in water
- there’s no medical I.D. and no way of knowing whether the seizure is caused by epilepsy
- the person is pregnant, injured, or diabetic
- the seizure continues for more than 5 minutes
- the second seizure starts shortly after the first has ended
- consciousness does not start to return after the shaking has stopped
* If the ambulance arrives after consciousness has returned, the person should be asked whether the seizure was associated with epilepsy and whether emergency room care is wanted.
SEIZURE RESCUE MEDICATION
SB 161: Seizure Rescue Medication in Schools
On October 7, 2011, California Governor Jerry Brown signed California Senate Bill 161 into the law which authorizes school districts to provide school employees with medical training to administer emergency medical assistance to pupils with epilepsy suffering from prolonged seizures. The bill allows emergency intervention, such as the use of Diastat, for prolonged seizures to be accessible to volunteer, trained non-medical individuals in the absence of a licensed nurse onsite at the school. The bill also authorizes a school district to provide school employees with voluntary emergency medical training to provide medical assistant to individuals with epilepsy suffering from prolonged seizures.
According to neurologist Dr. Arthur Partikian, “A prolonged seizure that is not treated appropriately and in a rapid manner can result in a brain injury, and that is why this bill was so important for our children.” If not treated at the appropriate time, prolonged seizures have the potential to cause brain injury and even death, making immediate emergency medical assistance imperative.
Click here for Diastat Administration Instructions.