Safety Tips: What to do if someone is having a convulsion or seizure

Seizure

A convulsion or seizure is a general term that people use to describe uncontrollable muscle contractions.

Some people may use it interchangeably with the word “seizure,” although a seizure refers to an electrical disturbance in the brain.

Seizures may cause a person to have convulsions, but this is not always the case.

In Nigeria today, what people do when someone is convulsing is to “Put a spoon in his or her mouth” so that he/she wont bite his/her tongue. This is very Wrong!

Don’t put anything in the mouth of a convulsing person.

What to do when someone is having a seizure

  1. Lay them on one side preferably on their left side.
  2. Remove tight clothing e.g. belts and ties.
  3. Take them away from danger, especially from things that can easily cause injuries during the episode (NOTE: Convulsions are not contagious so don’t be scared to help carry the victim).
  4. If you’re a bystander, time the episode.
  5. Don’t try to hold or grab the person.
  6. If it lasts longer than 5 minutes, take them to a hospital.
  7. If the person has another seizure soon after the first one, take them to the hospital immediately.

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According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), if a person is experiencing convulsions over most of their body, there are various first-aid practices someone can do to help them.

First Aid Practices For Someone Having a Seizure

These include:

  • placing them on the floor so they do not fall and hurt themselves
  • putting them onto their side so they can breathe easier
  • clearing the area of hard or sharp objects
  • placing something soft and flat under their head
  • removing their glasses loosening or removing anything around their neck, such as a tie or a necklace
  • call an ambulance if the seizure continues for more than 5 minutes

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