During a tonic clonic seizure a persons body stiffens and they fall to the ground [the tonic phase]. Their limbs then begin to jerk in strong, symmetrical, rhythmic movements [the clonic phase]. The person may dribble from the mouth, go blue or red in the face, and occasionally lose control of their bladder and/or bowel.

DO’s

  1. Stay calm – remain with the person
  2. Time the seizure
  3. Protect from injury – remove any hard objects from the area
  4. Protect the head – place something soft under their head and loosen any tight clothing
  5. Gently roll the person on their side as soon as it is possible to do so and firmly push the angle of the jaw forward to assist with breathing. A person cannot ‘swallow their tongue’ but the tongue can move back to cause a serious block to breathing
  6. Stay with the person until the seizure ends naturally and calmly talk to the person until the regain consciousness, usually within a few minutes
  7. Reassure the person that they are safe and that you will stay with them while they recover

Don’ts

  1. Restrain the person’s movements.
  2. Force anything into the mouth.
  3. Give the person water, pills or food until they are fully alert.

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