Managing Seizures
Seizure eTraining Slide 17

First Aid for Generalized Tonic-Clonic Seizures

In a generalized tonic- clonic seizure, the whole brain is affecting from the beginning.

  1. The person suddenly falls to the ground or has a convulsive seizure. It is essential to protect him or her from injury.
  2. Keep calm and reassure other people who may be nearby.
  3. Time the seizure with your watch.
  4. Make sure the mouth is cleared of food and saliva by turning the person on his or her side to provide an open airway and allow fluids to drain.  Do not try to force the mouth open with any hard implement or with fingers. It is not true that a person having a seizure can swallow his tongue. Efforts to hold the tongue down can cause injury Don’t hold the person down or try to stop movements.
  5. Don’t hold the person down or try to stop the seizure activity
  6. Cradle the head or place something soft under it, a towel or your hand, for example.
  7. Remove all dangerous objects.
  8. Stay with the person until the seizure ends naturally and remain calm so the person having the seizure will be reassured when he or she regains consciousness.
  9. Check for injuries and normal breathing

Failure to resume breathing signals a complication of the seizure such as a blocked airway, heart attack or severe head or neck injury. In these unusual circumstances, CPR must start immediately. If repeated seizures occur, or if a single seizure lasts longer than 5 minutes, the person should be taken to a medical facility immediately. Prolonged or repeated seizures may suggest status epilepticus, which requires emergency medical treatment.


Next slide