First aid

For all seizure events:

  • remain calm
  • ensure other students in the vicinity of the seizure event are being supported
  • prevent students from injuring themselves or others by placing something soft under their head and removing any sharp or unstable objects from the area
  • note the time the seizure started and time the event until it ends
  • talk to the student to make sure they regain full consciousness
  • stay with and reassure the student until they have fully recovered
  • provide appropriate post-seizure support or adjustments based on the student’s epilepsy management planExternal Link .

For a tonic-clonic seizure (convulsive seizure with loss of consciousness) which presents as muscle stiffening and falling, followed by jerking movements:

  • protect the head, for example, place a pillow or cushion under the head
  • remove any hard objects that could cause injury
  • do not attempt to restrain the student or stop the jerking
  • do not put anything in the student’s mouth
  • as soon as possible roll the student onto their side – you may need to wait until the seizure movements have ceased.

For a seizure with impaired awareness (non-convulsive seizure with outward signs of confusion, unresponsiveness or inappropriate behaviour) avoid restraining the student. You may need to guide the student safely around objects to minimise risk of injury.

When providing seizure first aid support to a student in a wheelchair:

  • protect the student from falling from the chair, secure seat belt where available and able
  • make sure the wheelchair is secure
  • support the student's head if there is no moulded head rest
  • do not try to remove the student from the wheelchair
  • carefully tilt the student’s head into a position that keeps the airway clear.

Schools should call an ambulance immediately if:

  • it is the students first seizure
  • you do not know the student
  • there is no epilepsy management plan
  • a serious injury has occurred
  • the seizure occurs in water
  • you have reason to believe the student may be pregnant.
Guidance chapter on first aid procedures for all seizure events

Reviewed 09 April 2024

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