Immediate Care for Seizures

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During a Generalized Tonic-Clonic Seizure

The person may:

  • fall
  • become stiff
  • make jerking movements
  • become pale or bluish

Don't Panic

  • help the person lie down and place something soft under their head.
  • remove glasses.
  • loosen tight clothing.
  • clear the area of sharp or hard objects.

DO NOT force anything into the person's mouth.

DO NOT try to restrain the person.

You cannot stop the seizure.

During a Complex Partial Seizure

The person may:

  • have a glassy stare
  • not respond or give an inappropriate response when questioned.
  • sit, stand or walk about aimlessly.
  • make lip-smacking or chewing motions.
  • fidget with or remove clothes.
  • appear to be drunk, drugged or even psychotic
  • remove harmful objects from the person's pathway or coax the person from them.

DO NOT try to stop or restrain the person.

DO NOT agitate the person.

DO NOT approach the person if you are alone and the person appears angry or aggressive. This is very unusual.

After the Seizure

The person will awaken confused and disoriented.

  • turn the person to one side to allow saliva to drain from the mouth.
  • arrange for someone to stay nearby until the person is fully awake.

DO NOT offer the person food or drink.

An ambulance is usually not necessary.

Call 911 or local police or ambulance if:

  • the person does not start breathing within one minute after the seizure. If this happens, you should call for help and start mouth-to-mouth resuscitation.
  • the person sustains an injury.
  • the person has one seizure right after another.
  • the person is pregnant or diabetic.
  • the person requests an ambulance.


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Provider Referrals: 612.672.7000

Administrative Offices: 612.884.0600

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