First Aid Procedure for Convulsions

A convulsion is an uncontrollable body shake (muscle contractions) that causes the person to collapse, become unresponsive, froth at the mouth, and sometimes pass urine. The person having the convulsion is not aware of what is happening. Convulsions are sometimes called “fits” or seizures. A convulsion is caused by abnormal electrical signals in the brain.

There are many causes of convulsions. Epilepsy is a common medical condition that causes recurrent seizures. Watching a person having a convulsion can be frightening. It is important to stay calm and reassure family members and people standing nearby to stay calm.

Convulsions are NOT infectious. It is important not to stigmatize people who have convulsions. It is important to protect the person having a convulsion from harm or injury. After the person finishes shaking, they may not wake up right away. When a person wakes up from a convulsion they will often be confused and frightened. It is important to comfort and reassure the person and explain to them what happened.

If a pregnant woman has a convulsion it can be very dangerous both for the mother and the unborn baby. This is an emergency situation known as eclampsia.

Basic First Aid for Convulsions

  • Help the person to the ground and protect their head from injury
  • Remove any objects nearby to prevent injury during the convulsion
  • Let the convulsion end. Do NOT try to stop the shaking, it is important never to attempt to restrain someone having a convulsion
  • Do NOT place anything in the person’s mouth.
  • Do NOT give any drinks, medicine or food.
  • When the shaking stops, the person may sleep. Put the patient in the recovery position and stay with them until they wake up.
  • When the person wakes up, introduce yourself and explain what happened. Give psychological first aid
  • If the person becomes unconscious and stops breathing normally after the seizure, immediately call for help and commence CPR

John Furst

JOHN FURST is an experienced emergency medical technician and qualified first aid & CPR instructor. John is passionate about first aid and believes everyone should have the skills and confidence to take action in an emergency situation.

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