How can I tell if a person is okay after a seizure?

Ask questions to see if the person knows his/her name, where he/she is, what time of day it is, and what happened. If the person can not answer these questions, tell her the information and offer reassurance that she is okay. This may help decrease confusion and orient them to their surroundings. 

Also, don’t leave anyone alone after a seizure until:

  • They are able to answer the four W’s:  who, what, when, and where.
  • They can talk or communicate in some way.
  • They are breathing normally.
  • You are able to wake them up if they fall asleep after a seizure.

Should I tell a person who had a seizure what happened?

Seizures are unpredictable and often leave a person feeling that they have no control over their body or their life. Not knowing what happens during a seizure can worsen the loss of control and fear of seizures.

  • Right after a seizure most people aren’t ready to talk much about the seizures, but telling them what happened very simply and matter-of-factly can help.
  • If the person’s not remembering things well, write down what happened for them.  They can then share this with their doctor, nurse, family, or others involved in their epilepsy care.
  • This information can help the person and his/her healthcare providers to determine the type of seizures, whether treatment is working, and the need for changes.

Remember, knowing what happened during a seizure and having a chance to talk about it may help make the seizures less scary and life seem more predictable. You also can help someone get the help they may need and stay safe.

For more information on seizure first aid: 

  • Print this downloadable guide (link to first aid resources)
  • View what to do – link to video by DJ Hapa and Chanda, and from talkabout it
  • Visit My Store  for seizure first aid brochures and posters 

 

Based in part on Brainstorms Companion: Epilepsy in Our View, Living Safely with Epilepsy (113-129).

Authored by: Steven C. Schachter, MD | Patricia O. Shafer, RN, MN | Joseph I. Sirven, MD on 9/2013
Reviewed by: Joseph I. Sirven, MD | Patricia O. Shafer, RN, MN on 3/2014
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