First aid treatment for seizures

Understanding and managing seizures: First aid essentials

Seizures can be daunting and life-threatening for both the individual experiencing them and those around them. Effective management through first aid is crucial in mitigating risks and ensuring safety. In this blog, Rose explores the essential seizure first aid measures underpinned by the latest guidelines and regulatory frameworks that govern health and safety practices in the UK.

The importance of knowledge on seizures

Seizures affect a significant portion of the population, with around 600,000 people in the UK living with epilepsy, according to the Epilepsy Society. Seizures can vary in severity and presentation, from brief lapses of attention to severe and prolonged convulsions. The unpredictability of seizures necessitates preparedness through education and training, making first aid knowledge indispensable in workplaces, educational settings, and public areas.

Defining seizures and their types

A seizure is a sudden, uncontrolled electrical disturbance in the brain. It can cause changes in behaviour, movements, feelings, and levels of consciousness. The two broad categories of seizures are:

  • Focal seizures - These start in and affect just one part of the brain, sometimes spreading wider. Symptoms may include involuntary jerking, changes in sensation, or psychological impacts.
  • Generalised seizures - These affect both sides of the brain. Symptoms can range from twitching and loss of awareness to violent shaking and loss of muscle control.

Legislation and best practices

In the UK, health and safety regulations mandate that employers ensure adequate first aid equipment, facilities, and personnel, including training in first aid for seizures. The Health and Safety (First-Aid) Regulations 1981 and the guidance from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) form the cornerstone of these requirements. Best practices also align with the recommendations from leading bodies such as the Resuscitation Council UK and the British Red Cross.

First aid for seizures - Key steps

When providing first aid for seizures, the immediate focus should be on preventing injury and maintaining safety:

  • Keep calm - Ensure the area around the person is safe and free from anything that could harm.
  • Time of the seizure - Keeping track of the seizure duration can provide crucial information for healthcare professionals.
  • Protect from injury - Place something soft under the head and loosen any tight clothing.
  • Manage recovery - After the seizure, help the person to rest on their side with their head tilted back to aid breathing and keep the airway clear.
  • Seek medical help - If the seizure lasts longer than five minutes, is repeated, or if the person does not regain full consciousness, seek emergency medical assistance.

Educational recommendations

Awareness and training are critical. Employers should facilitate regular first aid training sessions to include seizure management. Comprehensive courses that include theoretical knowledge and practical skills should be undertaken regularly, ensuring that all potential first responders can act effectively during a seizure.


Understanding how to provide first aid for seizures is essential. It empowers individuals to improve the outcome of such medical emergencies significantly. Regular training and adherence to current regulations and best practices are vital in enhancing safety and preparedness in any environment.

To equip yourself or your team with the necessary skills to manage seizures effectively. Click here to explore our comprehensive first-aid training courses. Be proactive in your approach to workplace safety and enrol today.

Disclaimer: This blog is for informational purposes only and should not be considered medical advice. Always seek professional medical assistance in emergency situations.

About the author

Rose Mabiza

Rose has dedicated over 15 years to improving health and social care quality through practice, targeted education and training. Her extensive experience includes working with older adults, individuals with mental health conditions, and people with autism and learning disabilities.

 Understanding and managing seizures: First aid essentials - ComplyPlus™ - The Mandatory Training Group UK -

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