Epilepsy & Seizures
A seizure is an electrical disturbance in the brain, also known as a fit or convulsion. They can be brought on by many things, from a head injury to an increase in body temperature.
A person with epilepsy suffers from recurrent seizures.
Epileptic seizures sometimes begin with the casualty feeling an 'aura' or sensation. Epilepsy sufferers can often recognise that they are about to have a seizure.
In a major seizure, the casualty will lose consciousness and their breathing will become difficult. They may begin to jerk violently and the casualty may lose control of their bodily functions.
The body will eventually relax and they should regain consciousness. This may take several minutes. The seizure itself could last from several seconds to many minutes.
Treatment for Absence Seizures
- Assist the casualty to sit in a quiet place
- Calm and reassure the casualty
- Allow the casualty to recover in their own time
Treatment for Major Epileptic Seizure
- Ensure the area around the casualty is free from danger
- Cushion and protect the casualty's head but don't restrain them
- Do not place anything in the casualty's mouth
- Record the length of the seizure
- Stay with the casualty until their recovery is complete
- Reassure the casualty
In both cases, You must be suspicious of cardiac arrest in any patient experiencing a seizure. During a cardiac arrest, the brain is starved of oxygen which causes seizure-like episodes - bystanders should always assess whether the patient is breathing normally, and be prepared to administer CPR if they stop breathing.
Call 999 if;
- You know it is their first seizure
- They suffer repeated seizures without regaining responsiveness
- The seizure lasts longer than 5 minutes
- The casualty becomes injured during the seizure
- They are unresponsive for longer than 10 minutes
- If you suspect the casualty is suffering a cardiac arrest or if they stop breathing
Our handy infogram will guide you through the steps to treat someone who has suffered and epileptic fit, or seizure.
If you would like more information on this particular type of first aid, feel free to call our friendly customer care team on 0845 071 0820.