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Home > Patient & Family Resources > Health Library > Helping a Person During a Seizure
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If you see someone who is having a seizure, stay calm. Although seizures seem to last a long time, they usually do not last more than 60 to 90 seconds. Time the seizure, if you can. If the seizure lasts longer than 5 minutes or the person seizing is pregnant (no matter how long the seizure lasts), call 911 or other emergency services immediately.
A seizure can be terrifying to watch, especially if you've never seen one before. A seizure temporarily interferes with muscle control, movement, speech, vision, or awareness. It may cause a person's entire body to shake violently for a few seconds to a few minutes, and he or she may lose consciousness.
Seizures can be mild to severe, and they affect people differently. 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.
You may be able to provide valuable feedback to the doctor treating the person having the seizure. Try to remember:
Seizures do not always require urgent care. But call 911 or other emergency services immediately if:
Other Works Consulted
Kaplan PW (2007). Seizure disorders. In NH Fiebach et al., eds., Principles of Ambulatory Medicine, 7th ed., pp. 1504–1531. Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams and Wilkins.
Current as of:
November 20, 2019
Author: Healthwise StaffMedical Review: John Pope MD - PediatricsMartin J. Gabica MD - Family MedicineKathleen Romito MD - Family MedicineSteven C. Schachter MD - Neurology
Current as of: November 20, 2019
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:John Pope MD - Pediatrics & Martin J. Gabica MD - Family Medicine & Kathleen Romito MD - Family Medicine & Steven C. Schachter MD - Neurology
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