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.
- Stay calm – remain with the person
- Time the seizure
- Protect from injury – remove any hard objects from the area
- Protect the head – place something soft under their head and loosen any tight clothing
- 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
- Stay with the person until the seizure ends naturally and calmly talk to the person until the regain consciousness, usually within a few minutes
- Reassure the person that they are safe and that you will stay with them while they recover
- Restrain the person’s movements.
- Force anything into the mouth.
- Give the person water, pills or food until they are fully alert.