What to do during an epileptic seizure

What to do during an epileptic seizure

Epilepsy Centre

What to do during an epileptic seizure

Help dispel the myths surrounding epilepsy. Take the first step by knowing what to do when someone is having a seizure.


  • Remain calm and note the time
  • Clear a space around the person, prevent others from crowding around
  • Loosen tight clothing/neckwear. Remove spectacles
  • Cushion the head to prevent injury
  • Put person into shock recovery position (i.e. roll person into his/her side, top leg bent, bottom arm slightly extended)
  • Wipe away excess saliva to facilitate breathing
  • Reassure and assist until person has recovered or become re-orientated
  • Allow the person to rest/sleep is necessary – cover with a blanket
  • Note the duration of the seizure and the time it took place. Provide this information to the person who had the seizure after the person has recovered fully, in order for him / her to record the information in his/her seizure diary.

Do not…

  • Restrict or restrain the person’s movements
  • Move the person unless the person might hurt him/herself or is in immediate danger (i.e. in a busy road)
  • Put anything between the person’s teeth or in the person’s mouth
  • Give anything to eat or drink during the seizure
  • Give extra anti-convulsants, unless stipulated to do so by the neurologists
  • Call a doctor or an ambulance unless the person has injured him/herself badly or the seizure lasts longer than six minutes, or the person has repeated seizures without recovering.