First aid for tonic-clonic seizure

There are different types of seizures and each has its own specific symptoms. In a tonic-clonic seizure, all of the nerve circuits in the brain are overloaded at the same time. Generally, the individual can suffer from convulsions and eventually lose consciousness. In simple terms, the muscles all over the body have spasms due to the extra brain activity. This is responsible for causing the generalized and often scary convulsions.

What you need to know about seizures

All types of seizures are temporary. After a tonic-clonic seizure, the individual will feel unsettled and sleepy. During a seizure attack, there are certain considerations to bear in mind. The initial first aid measure is to ensure that the individual will not be harmed in any way. Take note that the convulsions during a tonic-clonic seizure can cause the individual to move or stir in a violent manner, possibly hitting nearby objects. With this in mind, objects near the individual must be moved out of the way.

You have to protect the head from banging against the floor by placing a soft or flat item such as a folded sweatshirt beneath it.

Avoid limiting movement

When handling a tonic-clonic seizure attack, always bear in mind not to restrict his/her movements. The jerking movements and muscle spasms are automatic since they are controlled by the brain activity. It simply means that you cannot stop the movements. If you will try to stop the movement, it will only result to injury or harm to the individual.

tonic-clonic seizure

During a tonic-clonic seizure, protect the head of the individual.

During a seizure attack, the breathing of the individual is weak and can even stop for a moment. You have to turn the individual gently on his/her side so that the airways are not obstructed. If the individual is wearing tight-fitting clothes, you have to loosen them.

If you believe that an individual experiencing a seizure can swallow his/her tongue, it is not true and do not insert any object in the mouth in any attempt to prevent this false idea since it will only damage the jaw or teeth. In case the individual is not breathing after a seizure which is quite common, check if the airway is clear and then provide artificial respiration if you are trained.

In most cases, always stay calm. Once the seizure stops, you have to calm the individual and make sure he/she has a place to rest properly or take him/her home if the seizure attack occurred at work or in a public place.

If the seizure attack persists or another attack is triggered shortly after the initial seizure, it is best to call for emergency assistance right away. Always remember that a tonic-clonic seizure or the other types of attack that does not stop in after some time is considered as a medical emergency.


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