What Should You Do If Someone Has a Seizure?

When a person is having a seizure, bystanders first should work to ensure the person remains as safe as possible. Moving the person to a safe location, which can be as simple as just placing them on his or her side on the ground, is one of the best responses when someone has a seizure. Calling emergency services, such as 911, is also advisable if the seizure lasts longer than 5 minutes.

If the person is having a violent seizure, try to keep the person's head cushioned to ensure the person doesn't suffer a head injury from banging the head on the floor or other objects. Remember not to try to hold the person down. Additionally, don't put anything in the person's mouth because the person can clamp down on it or swallow it.

There are several different types of seizures. Some people might not have violent convulsions when they are having seizures. In those cases, keep a record of what happens so that the person can discuss the incident with a medical professional. If the person is conscious, use a soothing voice to reassure him or her as the seizure runs its course.

Some patients who have a diagnosed condition, such as epilepsy, that causes seizures will have medications to take at the onset of the seizure. The medication should be administered exactly as prescribed, preferably by someone familiar with the medication.