First aid for seizures
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1 out of 10 people will experience a seizure in their lifetime. Do you know what to do if a co-worker has a seizure? It is important to be prepared so you can provide first aid.
CDC states that when most people think of seizures, they think of a generalized tonic-clonic seizure, also known as a grand mal seizure. Someone experiencing this type of seizure may cry out, fall or shake. If you see someone having a grand mal seizure:
- Gently place the person on the floor and onto one side to ease breathing.
- Ensure no sharp objects are near the victim.
- Place something soft, such as a pillow or towel, under the victim’s head. If he or she has eyeglasses on, remove them.
- Loosen tight clothing around the neck that may make it harder to breathe.
If a seizure lasts for more than five minutes, CDC recommends calling 911. Other reasons to contact 911 include the victim having a second seizure soon after the first one stopped, the person sustained an injury during the seizure, the seizure occurred in water, or the victim has an underlying health condition such as heart disease or is pregnant.
Knowing what not to do when someone experiences a seizure is important, CDC notes. Do not:
- Attempt to hold a seizure victim down on the ground or restrict his or her movements
- Place anything in the victim’s mouth – doing so can cause injury to the teeth and jaw
- Give mouth-to-mouth rescue breaths
- Provide the victim with food or water until he or she is completely alert