Seizure first aid

The young person’s Individual Healthcare Plan (IHP) should include clear instructions of what to do should they have a seizure, as well as an emergency protocol (with information on when an ambulance should be called). All staff should be epilepsy aware and where appropriate, trained to know exactly what to do if a young person has a seizure. You will need to consider a young person's dignity, for example a young person may be incontinent during a seizure.

Most seizures do not require an ambulance because they stop by themselves without the need for treatment. The young person may simply need a quiet area to rest before re-joining activities.

You should always refer to each young person’s IHP and emergency protocol in order to know what to do. However, the basic principles of seizure first aid are as follows:

First Aid for Seizures

Download seizure first aid infographic

Prolonged seizures and status epilepticus

A seizure is not normally a medical emergency and the vast majority of seizures stop by themselves. However on occasions a medical emergency known as status epilepticus can occur.

Although any type of seizure may develop into status epilepticus, those who experience frequent convulsive seizures are more likely to go into status epilepticus.

Status epilepticus is a medical condition where the seizure lasts for more than 30 minutes or the young person does not regain consciousness between seizures. The young person will be at significant risk of sustaining damage to the brain. This is a medical emergency and potentially life threatening and requires prompt medical treatment.

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Guide for schools

Young Epilepsy helpline: email helpline@youngepilepsy.org.uk / call 01342 831342 / text 07860 023789

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