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First Aid for
Non-Convulsive Seizures

Don't panic! You can help.
No matter if you are young or old, you can help someone having a seizure. The first aid is simple, and in most cases involves making sure the person is safe and comfortable.

Time it. Longer than 5 minutes, call an ambulance.
This is the general rule of thumb for seizures. The longer a seizure goes on, the greater the chance it may need medical intervention to stop it. Check out the section on calling an ambulance to see when you should call for help.

Explain what is happening.
Non-convulsive seizures can be sneaky and may look very unusual or frightening. If you spot someone having a non-convulsive seizure, let others know, so that they will understand and not be scared or confused.

Clear the area of dangers.
Move things that the person having the seizure may hit or stumble over that could be dangerous. Remember, the person having this type of seizure will not have any real awareness of their surroundings, so they need your help.

Gently guide and protect from hazards.
Using a light touch, guide the person carefully away from other dangers like stairs or a busy street. Make note of how the seizure looks, they may want to know after it's over.

Do NOT restrain.
People who have seizures are normally not aggressive in any way. But if restrained or held, they may forcefully try to get away because they have no understanding of what is happening or why. So for everyone's safety, never ever restrain a person having a seizure.

Speak gently. Be kind during and after the seizure.
Seizures are no fun to have, and no one would ever choose them. But you can make things much better and far more tolerable just by talking nicely and reassuring the person that everything is ok and that you are there to help. After all, it may be you needing that same help from someone else someday.

If a non-convulsive seizure becomes convulsive...
Follow the guidelines for convulsive seizures Sometimes non-convulsive seizures can progress into convulsive seizures. This may happen very quickly. If it does happen, just switch to the first aid for the convulsive type of seizures as outlined in the other section.

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