The first step in providing seizure first aid is to stay calm yourself. Maintaining a safe environment for the victim is paramount, remove any objects near the victim that could cause harm. A towel or shirt under the head can prevent it from banging against the ground. If possible, lay the victim on their side, or rotate the head to the side, and elevate the head somewhat to prevent choking on saliva during the seizure.
If possible, time the length of the shaking component of the seizure.
Holding the person down is to be avoided, as this can increase injury. Do not place objects in the victim's mouth, and nothing to eat or drink until they are fully alert.
When the victim awakes, continue to remain calm, and keep the victim calm. Many people do not want to be touched after a seizure.
When to call for help:
- If this is the victim's first seizure, or you do not know if it is the person's first seizure.
- If the person is known to have a seizure disorder, and the seizure lasts more than 5 minutes.
- If the person is injured, or vomits.
First Aid for seizures is covered in AHA's First Aid course.