World Epilepsy Day: A step-by-step guide on what to do if someone’s having a seizure

Today, February 11 is World Epilepsy Day, and in order to mark the occasion and raise awareness, Epilepsy Ireland have shared their step-be-step guide on what you should do if you encounter someone having a seizure.

According to recent research, a whopping 40% of the Irish population say they have little to no knowledge on epilepsy — which really needs to change.

Epilepsy actually affects 40,000 people across the country and is in fact one of the most common neurological conditions in Ireland with almost 1 in 100 people living with the condition.

“The findings from our research – which sought the perspectives and insights on epilepsy from 1,000 members of the public – show that the majority of the public perceive epilepsy as a far rarer condition than it is in reality”, said Epilepsy Ireland CEO, Peter Murphy.

Epilepsy Ireland is launching an awareness campaign focussing on the three key steps you should take if you encounter a person having a seizure.   

They are:

1.  Time the seizure - if it lasts for more than 5 minutes, call an ambulance

2.   Keep them safe - make sure the person having a seizure won’t hurt themselves and remove any potentially dangerous objects from the person’s vicinity during the seizure, but never restrain them, hold them down or put anything in their mouth.     

3.   Stay with them until the seizure is over and they have recovered

Commenting on the basis behind the campaign, Mr.  Murphy continued, “While there are strong indicators from the research that our ongoing efforts to improve knowledge of seizure first aid are working, we do unfortunately still hear of experiences where seizure first aid is applied incorrectly.”

“Our campaign highlights that appropriate seizure first aid is much more straightforward than what many people may think. In fact, it can be summarised using just three key words - TIME – SAFE – STAY.”

“We would ask everyone to please take a moment on International Epilepsy Day to visit www.epilepsy.ie and learn a little more about epilepsy and how to respond to a seizure. Just five minutes of your time will be a great investment if you are ever called upon to respond to someone having a seizure”.

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