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How to help someone having Epileptic Seizures /Fits - Medanta Hospital


Have you ever witnessed an individual have a seizure or a fit?

When a person becomes unconscious, a quick, jerky movement may constitute an epileptic seizure. Epileptic seizures may look frightening, but they are not always life-threatening situations. Such seizures might cause harm or a fall because they are frequently unanticipated.

Although epileptic seizures can affect a person's everyday life, they can be managed with medication and by maintaining a healthy lifestyle.

Therefore, it is vital to be conscious of the signs and symptoms of epileptic seizures and rapidly deliver first-aid measures before medical help arrives to reduce the risk of harm to the epileptic patient.

The main goal of first aid for epileptic seizures is to keep the patient safe. Seeing someone have a seizure can be frightening, especially if you don't know what to do. By knowing the do’s and dont’s during a seizure, you can be of the greatest assistance to someone in your life who has a history of seizures.

Continue reading to know what to do at the time of a fit.

About epileptic seizures

A neurological state that impairs the brain's ability to communicate with its cells is epilepsy. Epileptic seizures may result from this abrupt change in electrical activity. An individual experiencing an attack may experience brief, involuntary body movements, such as jerking or shaking.

Epilepsy causes & symptoms

Even though the actual epilepsy causes are frequently unknown, a few things are known to produce seizures in persons with the condition. You can live with epilepsy more comfortably and prevent seizures by avoiding these triggers:

  • Missed dosage of medication
  • Heavy drinking
  • Sleep deprivation
  • Cocaine abuse or other using illicit substances
  • Other drugs that conflict with anti-seizure drugs
  • People with photosensitive seizures may experience seizures when exposed to pictures, flashing lights, or repeated patterns.

These epilepsy symptoms or signs may point to someone experiencing a seizure:

  • Staring
  • Unresponsiveness
  • Shaking
  • Twitching or jerking
  • Falling
  • Confusion
  • Wandering
  • Rubbing oneself
  • Lip smacking

If the seizure lasts more than five minutes, it is considered as an emergency. A few measures mentioned below can significantly decrease the risk of damage from a seizure.

Ways to assist a person having an epileptic seizure

If you see someone having fits or seizures, take these quick actions to avoid injuries to the individual.

  • Firstly, don't worry; breathe deeply and be calm.
  • Remove any heavy or pointy objects from their vicinity. And if you can do it safely, take off their spectacles too.
  • If the person (having a seizure) is seated on a chair, try to stop them from falling by gently guiding them to the ground. To assist, and prevent head injuries, try putting something soft underneath the person's head, like a jacket or blanket.
  • Move them over to their side if you can. The individual may produce saliva a lot, which they might ingest and choke on. Additionally, turning them can aid in maintaining their airway passage.
  • Avoid crowding around the person experiencing a seizure.
  • Never hold someone down during a seizure. However, it could be helpful to loosen belts or bindings to make it easier for them to breathe.
  • Keep your hands off the person's mouth. Do not put anything in their mouth. The person may bite off a portion of the object, clamp down, and then choke on it. They also might bite on your hand if you put it in their mouth.
  • You must take prompt action if a seizure starts in the water, such as while bathing or swimming, to save the individual from a potentially fatal condition. Hold the person's head above the water if they are having a seizure while in a pool. Pull the person from the pool as soon as the seizure is over. Examine their pulse and breathing.
  • Once the seizure episode ends, stay by them while being understanding and supportive.
  • Moreover, if necessary, call the doctor and inform them about the triggers and situation.

Post seizure: what to do?

After the seizure, the person may revive, confused and unsure of what had happened (known as a postictal state). Assure them that everything is fine, and calmly explain what happened. Making sure that any injuries are treated is crucial.

If you have requested emergency assistance, the emergency physician may inquire about what the patient did before the seizure. This information may occasionally help identify seizure triggers. You should also inform them of any further medical issues which may cause epileptic seizures.

Keep in mind that most seizures endure between 30 and two minutes without immediate medical intervention. Call a doctor immediately if someone has a seizure that lasts longer than two minutes or if they lose consciousness and it does not return soon after the episode ends.

When should you call a doctor?

A seizure might have minor to severe signs and symptoms. A seizure usually passes within a few minutes, but immediate medical assistance is needed if symptoms persist for more than five minutes.

Call a doctor if:

  • If a second seizure starts right away.
  • If the seizures are accompanied by a high fever and heat exhaustion.
  • If the patient is unconscious after the seizure has ended.
  • Pregnant women and people with diabetes are particularly vulnerable and should be taken immediately to the hospital.


You can save a person's life if you know about epilepsy symptoms and the proper first aid procedure.

Additionally, abide by safety recommendations to safeguard your loved ones with epilepsy. Encourage and inform them to avoid hurting themselves when having a seizure. Always seek emergency medical assistance immediately and tell your doctor of all seizure activity.

Although epileptic seizures can be terrifying, remember that the advice mentioned above can enable you to give the sufferer the best treatment possible. Moreover, if you still find it difficult to control, contact the doctor as soon as possible.

Medanta Medical Team
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