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