A seizure can be frightening to watch, but a single seizure is usually not dangerous to the person having the seizure and never dangerous to anyone else. A seizure temporarily interferes with muscle control, movement, speech, vision, or awareness. It may cause a person's entire body to shake for a few seconds to a few minutes, and he or she may lose consciousness.
Even though you may feel helpless around someone having a seizure and find it difficult to watch, there are many things you can do to help:
- Stay calm; most seizures only last a few minutes.
- Try to move furniture or other objects that might cause injury to the person
- If the person is on the ground, try to position the person on his or her side so that fluid can leak out of the mouth.
- Do not try to hold down or move the person.
- Do not force anything, including your fingers, into the person's mouth.
- Do not attempt to give the person any liquids, pills, or food until the person is fully awake.
Call 911 if:
- The person having the seizure stops breathing for longer than 30 seconds.
- The seizure lasts longer than 3 minutes.
- This is the person's first seizure or you don't know if they have a known seizure disorder.
- The person is pregnant.
- More than one seizure occurs within 24 hours.
- The person does not respond normally within 1 hour after the seizure (reduced awareness or not fully awake).
- Inability to walk or stand