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
- Lay them on one side preferably on their left side.
- Remove tight clothing e.g. belts and ties.
- 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).
- If you’re a bystander, time the episode.
- Don’t try to hold or grab the person.
- If it lasts longer than 5 minutes, take them to a hospital.
- 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
- 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