When someone is having is seizure, they will often experience involuntary movement, changes in behavior, and awareness for lasting a couple minutes to an hour. If you’ve never witnessed a seizure, you might be shocked, confused, scared, worried, or all of the above. The most important thing, however, is for you to remain calm.
Know the circumstances under which you should call for emergency medical services. If you are concerned for the person’s safety and feel unable to help the person, you should call for emergency medical attention, but in many cases, a person having a seizure will not need emergency assistance. Often, a person will have medication with them. Ask when you can. This is helpful and can be useful to them right away. Get emergency assistance if:
- The person doesn’t have a MedicAlert necklace or bracelet that says “epilepsy” or “seizure”.
- The seizure occurred in water.
- A seizure occurs after the person complains of a sudden, severe headache or if it follows a head injury
- A seizure occurs after inhaling fumes or poison
- A seizure occurs with other signs of stroke, such as trouble speaking or understanding speech, loss of vision, and inability to move part or all of one side of the body.
- They are pregnant, hurt, or have a necklace or bracelet that says “diabetic”.
- The seizure lasts more than 3 minutes
- A second seizure starts shortly after the first one stops, or if the person has already had a seizure in the past 24 hours.
- The person stops breathing for more than 30 seconds
- An hour after the seizure stops, the person does not respond normally or suffers from reduced awareness, drowsiness, confusion, nausea or vomiting, fever, or an inability to walk/stand.