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    Epilepsy Seizure: What to Do in an Emergency

    First Aid

    Seizure first aid is a matter of taking precautions. You’re most likely to need it for a generalized tonic-clonic seizure.

    • Keep other people out of the way.
    • Clear hard or sharp objects away from the person.
    • Don't try to hold her down or stop the movements.
    • Place her on her side, to help keep her airway clear.
    • Look at your watch at the start of the seizure, to time its length.
    • Don't put anything in her mouth. Contrary to a popular misconception, you can’t swallow your tongue during a seizure. But if you put an object in her mouth she could damage her teeth or bite you.

    Remember, this type probably isn’t an emergency, although it may look like one. Milder seizures -- like brief periods of staring or shaking of the arms or legs -- aren’t emergencies either. But you should gently guide the person away from threats. He may be in a state like sleepwalking, where traffic or stairs pose a danger.

    WebMD Medical Reference

    Reviewed by Neil Lava, MD on May 21, 2016
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