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[Ask Doctor] What to do when someone has Seizure/Fits

In most cases, seizures commonly called fits are not life-threatening and are relatively easy to manage. Most adolescent or adult seizure victims suffer from epilepsy. In some cases, seizures can be caused by other medical conditions. One should be especially concerned if the seizure immediately follows an injury to the head or if the victim is pregnant or if the victim has diabetes.

Seizures in children are often caused by high fever.

Here are a few things you can do to help someone who is having a seizure –

1-Stay calm 2-Make the person as comfortable as possible 3-Stay Safe and Prevent injury during the seizure; ensure there is nothing within the reach that could harm the victim. Remove hard or sharp objects away from the vicinity of the victim. 4-Seizures can be violent enough to injure a victim. 5-Remember to consider your safety as well 6-Loosen tight clothing around the neck, especially ties or collars. These items may restrict breathing or block the airway. 7-Place a pillow or rolled-up jacket under the head of the victim. 8- If possible, roll the victim to his or her left side. This way, sputum or vomit will drain out of the mouth away from the airway and the person will not swallow it. 9- Place a folded handkerchief between the patient’s teeth to prevent tongue biting ( do not place your fingers between the patient’s teeth, as you may be bitten) 10- It is important to note the time from the beginning of a seizure to the end of a seizure. A seizure lasting for more than five minutes will be treated differently than a shorter one. 11-If the seizure continues for more than five minutes, call the emergency/doctor. 12-After the seizure, the person should be placed on one side to maintain an open airway and prevent the person from inhaling any secretions. 13-There is a risk of vomiting after seizure, before the person is fully alert. Therefore, the person’s head should be turned on one side so that any vomit will drain out of the mouth without being inhaled. 14-The person will usually have confusion after the seizure for 20 to 30 minutes so the victim should not be left alone. Stay with the person for 15-30 minutes. What should not be done when someone has a seizure?   1-Do not put anything in the person’s mouth 2-Do not give the person water, pills, or food until fully alert 3-Do not try to hold the person down or restrain him or her, this can result in injury 4-Do not throw cold water on people who are having convulsions or fits. According to the Foundation, call the emergency immediately for a seizure if:   1-the seizure happened in water 2-the victim is pregnant 3-the victim has diabetes 4-the victim is injured 5-the seizure lasts for more than five minutes 6-another seizure happens before the victim regains consciousness.

About Author

sunil-gargDr. Sunil Garg is a Critical care (ICU) specialist, based in Udaipur. By this article his aim is to create awareness among people how to go about and deal with commonly encountered emergency medical situations till one gets medical help.

4 years ago

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