First Aid for Complex Partial seizures

31 January 2011
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During the seizure, the person may just seem blank and will not be able to speak or answer questions normally. They may act in an odd way like chewing or smacking their lips, say odd unexpected things or fiddle with their clothes. The seizure may come on suddenly and last only a short time.

What you should DO:

  • Note the time the seizure started. If the seizure continues for longer than five minutes, call an ambulance
  • Guide the person away from any potential danger
  • Stay with them until recovery is complete
  • As the seizure finishes, check that they are OK
  • Calmly reassure the person and explain what happened during the seizure

What you should NOT do:

  • Do not panic or walk away
  • Do not assume the person is aware of what is happening or what has happened
  • Do not restrain the person
  • Do not give them anything to eat or drink until they are fully recovered

For more information on seizure first aid in specific circumstances, e.g. in a wheelchair, in water or on buses/ aeroplanes, click here.

When to call an ambulance

First Aid for Tonic Clonic seizures

Get the Seizure first aid poster

Watch the seizure first aid video

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