What To Do If Someone Is Having A Seizure
Have you ever caught yourself in a panic while trying to figure out what you should do to help a loved one who’s experiencing a seizure? Generalized tonic-clonic seizures are most commonly associated with epilepsy and seizures in general, often characterized by temporary convulsions or violent shaking and disordered thinking/confusion.
It can be the most nerve wrecking thing if you aren’t familiar with seizures. Not only that, everyone seems to have a different understanding of what should be done. Should you put a spoon in their mouth to keep them from swallowing their tongue? Should you hold them down until they stop shaking?
The answer is no. But, here’s what you should do:
Let the seizure play out on its own. According to the Epilepsy Foundaton, generalized tonic-clonic seizures last less than five minutes. If it lasts longer than five minutes, call 911.
Remove anything that may harm the person who is having a seizure. If there’s furniture or sharp objects nearby, move them out of the way. Do the same for bystanders. Seizures tend to draw a bit of attention. So, if people began to form a circle around the person who’s having a seizure, ask them to move.
Do not put anything in their mouth, as this may cause more harm than good according to the Epilepsy Foundation. A common myth is that a person who’s having a seizure will swallow their tongue. They won’t. But, they may have trouble breathing.