Absence seizures usually require no first aid. They are brief and almost never associated with falling or injury. There may be situations where people will need help during absence seizures. Many absence seizures can occur close together in a cluster. When this happens, the person may be confused and not know what they are doing or be in an unsafe place.

What to do?

  • Keep a person who looks confused in a safe place.
  • Take dangerous objects out of their hands. 
  • Remove the person from sports, water, or other potentially dangerous activities during the cluster or confused period. 

What else can be done?

Very rarely, absence seizures can occur as a continuous state called "absence status epilepticus. " The term ‘nonconvulsive status epilepticus may also be used to describe the same situation. 

  • If the person has a vegus nerve stimulator, use the magnet to stop the event.
  • Follow the persons seizure response plan on what to do and when to give rescue medications for clusters or repeated seizures.
  • Seek medical help according to the persons seizure plan.


Reviewed By: 
Joseph I. Sirven, MD
Patricia O. Shafer, RN, MN
Reviewed Date: 
Saturday, September 2, 2017