People with epilepsy should always wear a medical alert tag.
Most seizures are self-limiting and stop by themselves after various periods of time. However, a person having a seizure may be injured; breathe food, fluid, or vomit into the lungs; or not get enough oxygen. During a seizure, it is important to protect the person from injury. Turn the person on his or her side, so that any vomit is expelled. See seizure first aid.
After a convulsion, most people go into a deep sleep. Don't prevent the person from sleeping. He or she will probably be disoriented, or possibly agitated for awhile after awakening.
Stay with the person until recovery or until you have professional medical help. Meanwhile, monitor their pulse, rate of breathing, and blood pressure.
- Do not restrain the person.
- Do not place anything between the person's teeth during a seizure (including your fingers).
- Do not move the person unless he or she is in danger or near something hazardous.
- Do not try to make the person stop convulsing. He or she can't control the seizure and is not aware of what is happening at the time.
- Do not give the person anything by mouth until the convulsions have stopped and the person is fully awake and alert.
Some patients with epilepsy may have a vagal nerve stimulator implanted in their chest. In these persons, a seizure can be halted by activating the device. Other patients may have been prescribed medication to administer rectally during a seizure. Never try to administer anything (even medications) by mouth.