Seizures, Signs and Responses

What is a seizure?

A seizure is a sudden surge of electrical activity in the brain. It usually affects how a person appears or acts for a short time. Many different things can occur during a seizure. Some people function normally during a seizure. Typically, a seizure will last no more than five minutes. Often, people will have partial seizures where they remain standing and/or sitting but appear to have “faded out.” This is often mistaken for drug or alcohol use. Children can suffer from partial seizures as well as adults. Sometimes, these children are diagnosed with ADHD (Keen, S., 2015).

What can cause a seizure?

A number of things can elicit a seizure. Stress, being hungry or too hot, sleep deprivation and flashing lights are some of the top origins for seizure onset.

When should you call Emergency Medical Services/911?

You should contact EMS/911 if the person is pregnant, diagnosed with diabetes, this is their first seizure, they have injured themselves or if another seizure occurs soon after the first one ends.

What to do when someone has a seizure?

  1. Help the person to the ground.
  2. Move away objects that could cause injury.
  3. Loosen tight clothing (i.e. a necktie)
  4. Turn them on their side.
  5. DO NOT hold them down.
  6. Place something soft under their head to prevent injury.
  7. DO NOT put anything in their mouth to hold down their tongue. This is dangerous to the person experiencing the seizure as well as to you!

Epilepsy Services Locally:

Epilepsy Services of Southwest Florida (ESSWF) serves eight counties from Bradenton to Naples. ESSWF provides healthcare to adults without insurance who are diagnosed with seizures/epilepsy. Services include neurology, case management and medications.