How to Help Someone Having an Epileptic Seizure
Most people would not know what to do the first time they see someone having an epileptic seizure, even if it is not uncommon among children and the elderly. The person experiencing the seizure will have no control over their body and will be dependent on how the others will react, that is why it is essential that you know what do in case it happens to a friend or relative.
Be familiar with the type of seizure
There are three types of seizures you should know, but you need to be able to tell the difference between a focal seizure and a generalized or convulsive seizure. Focal or partial seizures are not as dramatic as portrayed in movies. The person is not aware of the surroundings but will have unusual and repetitive movements that may look like they are aware of their actions.
Generalized seizures on the other hand will begin with the person going stiff and unconscious before the convulsions happen. They will most likely lose control of their bowels or bladder, bite their tongue, and have irregular breathing. You have only a few seconds to recognize these symptoms because you need to act right away.
Some people might still be standing upright or walk around while having a seizure, so guide them to a safer place away from danger. They might hurt themselves if you don’t stay with them, but do not restrain them forcefully. Attempt to make them stay conscious by reassuring them someone is there to assist them by talking calmly.
Once they are recovered, fill them in on what happened then try to give them food and water. Consider it an emergency and call for help immediately if the seizure has been going on for more than 5 minutes or if it is the first time you recall seeing that person having a seizure.
Do not let the person’s head hit the ground or an object. Cushion the head and wait they have recovered. If possible, make them lie on their side to aid in the breathing, but do not try to restrain their movements by holding down their arms and legs. To avoid them biting their tongue, place an object in their mouth they can bite into, but do not try to move them unless they have difficulty breathing. Do not attempt to “wake” them up but wait until they have fully recovered.
Do not attempt to make them eat or drink while they are having convulsions because they could choke. Don’t do a CPR if you see they can’t breathe, because they will eb able to breathe after the seizure. Make sure to time how long the seizure is because you will need to call emergency if it lasts for more than 5 minutes. If they suffer another seizure and have not yet recovered from the first, call for help.