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J Child Neurol. 2007 May;22(5 Suppl):30S-7S.

First aid for seizures: the importance of education and appropriate response.

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Virginia Commonwealth University, School of Medicine, Richmond, VA 23298-0211, USA.


In most circumstances, first aid for seizures aims to protect the individual from harm during a seizure. Many people harbor misconceptions about or simply do not know how to respond to a seizure. Guidelines for seizure first aid from the Epilepsy Foundation are readily available and widely distributed, yet data from surveys and studies illustrate a deep unmet need in seizure first aid education. Lack of knowledge increases the potential for inappropriate or inadequate responses by parents, teachers, coworkers, and the public at large to repetitive or prolonged seizures, and the associated discomfort about how to provide first aid also can contribute to the general stigma associated with epilepsy. Clinicians play a key role in educating patients, parents, caregivers, and the community about how to respond to an individual who is having a seizure. This article reviews the data regarding seizure first aid knowledge among the various groups that may be called on to respond to a repetitive or prolonged seizure, highlights important goals of seizure first aid (including the prevention of status epilepticus) that should be relayed to these groups, and discusses the positive impact of seizure first aid education.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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