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Questions and answers aboutseizures/epilepsy

Here are some questions people often ask. If you have a question that isn’t answered here, please feel free to email us at firstaid@redcross.org.uk or use this form.

Q

Should I try to keep their tongue forward or put something in their mouth to stop them biting themselves?

Answer
Answer

No, do not go anywhere near the person’s mouth or put anything in it. This may injure both of you. Make the area safe and prevent injury by removing items that may cause the person harm while you wait for the seizure to finish.

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Q

How do I know if they have epilepsy?

Answer
Answer

You may find some form of identification on the person, e.g. a card, bracelet or necklace, which will give you information about their condition. If you can’t find anything and are unsure if they have a history of seizures, call an ambulance.

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Q

When should I call 999?

Answer
Answer

Call 999 if any of the following apply:

  • the seizure lasts longer than five minutes,
  • the person has hurt themselves,
  • you are unsure as to the cause of the seizure.
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