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First Aid: Seizure

A seizure is a medical condition in which the victims brain experiences hyperactivity which causes problems in attentiveness and functioning. Seizures may be related to a chronic disorder called epilepsy or acutely due to head injury, low blood sugar, poisoning, other neurological disorder, and sometime other illnesses. During a seizure a person may loose consciousness, shake, convulse, or move uncontrollably, act strangely, or be confused. Seizures could be a sign of a life threatening condition. Victims who have a history of seizures or have a diagnosis of epilepsy may have frequent seizures who not need medical attention each time they have a seizure. If in doubt of a known history or unsure what to do call 911 immediately. Also call 911 for any seizure lasting longer than 10 minutes regardless of seizure history.

To care for a victim having a seizure you should do your best to protect the victim for further injury during the convulsions. Never attempt to hold the victim down or stick anything in their mouth. Holding the victim down may cause further injury to the victim. Sticking an object in the victims mouth may cause it to become lodged or stuck and cause an airway obstruction. Stay with the victim until the seizure stops and the victim recovers. A victim who has a seizure will often be confused, scared, or unable to communicate for up to an hour after the seizure ends. Reassure the victim that they are okay and tell them that they have had a seizure. If the victim does not show signs of improvement call 911 immediately.

Not all persons have a seizure will convulse. Some victims have “absent” seizures and may appear to be staring off or unresponsive to stimulus. Treat these victims as any other seizure victim.

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