Simple partial seizures rarely require first aid. Since consciousness is preserved, the person is almost always aware of the seizure and the surroundings. When care or help is needed, what to do would depend on the specific seizure symptoms.

Examples of what to do:

  • Stop any activity in which you could get hurt when symptoms that affect vision, thinking, emotions, or affects your sensation or movement.  This would include hallucinations too - what you may be hearing, seeing, or thinking may not be clear during this type of seizure.
  • If you are walking, sit down to avoid falling.
  • Remove harmful objects if an arm or leg movement could bump into them.
  • Stay away from open flames, bodies of water, or other unsafe areas.
  • Sometimes relaxing activities such as deep breathing or imagery can help slow down or abort symptoms in some people. Others may find that focusing on a specific activity can help.

What else can be done?

  • If the person has a vagus nerve stimular, use the magnet to help stop the event.
  • Usually further help isn’t needed after simple partial seizures. Yet if the seizure occurs in clusters or goes into a complex partial or generalize seizure, more help may be needed.
    • Follow the person’s Seizure Action Plan on what to do, when to give rescue medications if indicated, and when to seek medical help.

Contributors: Patricia O. Shafer RN, MN, Joseph I. Sirven MD September 22, 2013

Reviewed by: Joseph I. Sirven, MD | Patricia O. Shafer, RN, MN on 11/2013
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