Seizures and the intensity of their characteristics vary from person to person, largely depending on the individual’s medical condition. Witnessing someone endure a seizure can cause alarm and distress, but staying calm and observant of the person’s condition helps immensely, especially when emergency services are necessary.
Things to Know About Seizures
Overall, most seizures should only last no more than 90 seconds, and cause a person to lose control of his or her body. The following signs usually indicate a seizure:
- Violent shaking.
- Loss of awareness.
- Difficulties speaking.
- Blurred vision, including dry eyes and dilated pupils.
Most importantly, in the case of a seizure, keep the person from injury. Remove surrounding furniture and stray objects that could cause more harm. If the person is upright, do your best to stop him or her from falling to the ground. If the person is already on the ground by the time you witnessed the seizure, gently position him or her on the side to let any fluids flow from the mouth. Do not use force or excessive pressure to reposition the person, and stay with him or her until full consciousness returns.
When to Call for Help
If the person with signs of a seizure is elderly, pregnant, or a young child in ill health, seek emergency care immediately. Seizures longer than 5 minutes also require calling 911. Other issues needing treatment and monitoring outside the home include, but are not limited to:
- Failure to function normally more than an hour after the seizure.
- Consuming toxic substances or breathing in chemical fumes before the seizure.
- Complaints of severe headache before the seizure.
- Occurrence of multiple seizures within 24 hours.
While seizures seem scary to watch, preventing further injury to the person concerned stands as a top priority. My Emergency Room 24/7 readily assesses, monitors, and treats people suffering from serious complications in case of a seizure.