Secondary seizures; Reactive seizures; Seizure - secondary; Seizure - reactive
If someone who has never had a seizure before has one, call 911 or your local emergency number immediately.
Most seizures stop by themselves. However, a person having a generalized seizure may be injured; breathe food, fluid, or vomit into the lungs; or not get enough oxygen. During a generalized seizure, it is important to protect the person from injury. Turn the person on the side, so that any vomit leaves the body and does not enter the lungs. See:
After a generalized seizure, most people go into a deep sleep. Do not prevent the person from sleeping. The person will probably be disoriented, or possibly agitated for awhile after awakening.
EMERGENCY FIRST AID
- Do not attempt to force a hard object (such as a spoon or a tongue depressor) between the teeth. You can cause more damage than you can prevent.
- Do not try to hold the person down during the seizure.
- Turn the person to the side if vomiting occurs. Keep the person on his or her side while sleeping after the seizure is over.
- If the person having a seizure turns blue or stops breathing, try to position their head to prevent their tongue from blocking their airways. Breathing usually starts on its own once the seizure is over.
- CPR or mouth-to-mouth breathing is rarely needed after seizures and cannot be performed during the seizure.
If a person has repeated or prolonged seizures without regaining consciousness or returning to normal behavior, the body may develop a severe lack of oxygen. This is an emergency situation. Seek immediate medical help.
AFTER THE SEIZURE
Treat any injuries from bumps or falls. Record details of the seizure to report to the person's primary health care provider. You should note the following details:
- How long it lasted
- What body parts were affected
- Type of movements or other symptoms
- Possible causes
- How the person behaved after the seizure
Review Date: 03/21/2010
Reviewed By: Linda J. Vorvick, MD, Medical Director, MEDEX Northwest Division of Physician Assistant Studies, University of Washington, School of Medicine; Luc Jasmin, MD, PhD, Department of Neurosurgery at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Los Angeles, and Department of Anatomy at UCSF, San Francisco, CA. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.