An Article by Worsley Training – First Aid Training in and around Wiltshire
A seizure is caused by abnormal bursts of electrical activity in the brain. There are many different types of seizures, depending on which area of the brain is being affected. They include focal, tonic, atonic, absence, tonic-clonic and myoclonic.
A person who has epilepsy is prone to seizures but up to 5% of people will have a seizure in their lifetime. There are many causes including febrile convulsions, head injuries, hypoglycaemia, infection and poisoning.
Tonic-clonic seizures are the type of seizure most people recognise. The person goes stiff, loses consciousness, falls to the floor and begins to jerk or convulse.
If you witness this, firstly ensure that no-one does either of the 2 common misconceptions on the image. This is because they are very strong so can bite through objects in their mouth, which could block their airway. Also restraining them may cause injuries to them and you.
Instead stay with them and:
- protect them from injury
- cushion their head
- note the time
- loosen any clothing around their neck
- afterwards talk calmly to them, provide privacy and let them sleep in the recovery position
Call 999 if:
- it is their first seizure
- it lasts longer than 5 minutes
- one seizure follows another
- any complications such as injuries or breathing difficulties