For many people, the scariest aspect of epilepsy is not knowing when or where a seizure will occur. In certain situations, a loss of consciousness is especially dangerous and emergency care must go beyond the routine procedures. A seizure in water is one of these life-threatening situations.

Here are steps to follow if someone is having a seizure in water:

  • Support the person in the water with the head tilted so the face and head stay above the surface.
  • Remove the person from the water as quickly as possible.
  • Check to see whether the person is breathing. If not, begin CPR immediately.
  • Call an ambulance. Even if the person appears to be fully recovered, he or she should have a full medical checkup. Inhaling water can cause lung or heart damage.

Contributors: Steven C. Schachter, MD, Patricia O. Shafer RN, MN, Joseph I. Sirven MD
Revised: July 28, 2013

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Authored Date: 
Monday, October 21, 2013
Reviewed Date: 
Monday, October 21, 2013