Posts Tagged ‘epilepsy’

How to treat a seizure: What to do if you see someone seizing

Friday, January 23rd, 2009

by James Hubbard, M.D., M.P.H.

When I read Senator Ted Kennedy had a seizure at a public dinner on inauguration day, it got me thinking, does the average person know what to do if someone’s having a seizure?

As a teenager, I witnessed a seizure while I was at a park, and it scared me to death. (I scared easily as a teen.)  The man jerked and flailed uncontrollably in an unconscious state surrounded by onlookers, and no one knew what to do.

People yelled, “Hold him down so he won’t hurt himself!”  “Put something in his mouth so he won’t swallow his tongue!”  “Call an ambulance!”  After, what seemed like an eternity, he just lay limp and moaned.  Later I saw his friends help him up and they drove away.

Now that I am a doctor (said in hushed, hallowed tone) I know what I should have done.

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