Epilepsy First Aid and Facts

Take a few minutes to learn about epilepsy and what to do if someone is having a seizure.

What is epilepsy?

Epilepsy is another name for a seizure disorder. Seizures take on many forms, from more mild where a person may seemed confused or dazed, to more extreme where the person can become unconscious. Most seizures only last a few minutes and end on their own. Depending on the individual, they may recover quickly or they may need time to rest after a seizure.

Who has epilepsy?

1 in 26 Americans will develop epilepsy in their lifetime. More than likely, you know someone or will meet someone with epilepsy.

What do I do if someone has a seizure?

If you notice someone having a seizure, follow the 3 S’s: Stay, Safe, Side

Stay with the person until they are awake and alert after the seizure. Remain calm, time the seizure, and check for a medical ID.

Keep the person Safe. Move or guide the person away from harm.

Turn the person on their Side if they are not awake and aware. Keep the airway clear (don’t put anything in their mouth), loosen tight clothes around the neck, and put something small and soft under their head.

Call 911 if the seizure lasts longer than 5 minutes, the person does not return to their usual state, the person is injured, pregnant, or sick, they have repeated seizures, this is their first time having a seizure, they have difficulty breathing, or if the seizure occurs underwater.

To learn more about first aid for epilepsy, visit Epilepsy Foundation’s website at epilepsy.com/firstaid.