As the summer ends and faculty and staff gear up for the upcoming Fall semester, one of the campus’s big focus is on training to keep our students safe. This effort is maintained by regular demonstrations and training classes on First Aid & Safety and training for use of the AED Defibrillators that are secured in every building on campus. Here at DSS we would like to contribute to this effort by teaching you First Aid for Seizures.
Not all types of seizures require first aid. In many cases all the person needs is emotional support, reassurance, and understanding. This guide is designed to assist you with generalized tonic-clonic seizures (grand mal/convulsive).
The Diagram anove provides a great visual representation of the important steps to assisting someone having a seizure. Now, here’s the steps:
- Stay calm.
- Prevent injury. During the seizure, exercise common sense by insuring that there is nothing within reach that could harm the person if s/he struck it.
- Turn on side. Make the person as comfortable as possible. Also, loosen any neckware such as ties and/or open buttons to tight fitting collars.
- Do not hold the person down. This is as much a matter of your safety as it is their’s. Thrashing is a symptom of these types of seizures. The person having the seizure will be safe as long as you have followed Step 2.
- Do not place anything in the person’s mouth. Contrary to popular belief, a person having a seizure is incapable of swallowing their tongue.
- Keep onlookers away. We know, easier said than done, but most people will remain at a safe distance if they see the situation is under control.
- Try to keep track of the length of the seizure. This will be important for the person having the seizure and EMT’s to know.If the seizure lasts longer than 5 minutes, call 911.
- Look for an I.D.. Stay with them.
- Be sensitive and supportive. Offer help and reassurance.
After the seizure, if they are not already in this position, place the person on h/er left side. Keep in mind that there is a small risk of post-seizure vomiting, even before the person is fully alert. For this reason, be sure the person’s head is positioned so that vomit will drain out of the mouth without being inhaled. Also, do not give the person water, pills, or food until they are fully alert.