Things to Remember

When you see someone having a seizure, do not be frightened. Remain calm and remember the following facts:


  • Once a seizure has started, you cannot stop it – just let it run its course and end naturally on its own.
  • Most seizures last from seconds to a few minutes, although the person may be confused for some time afterward.
  • If someone is at risk of having prolonged seizures their health care professional may prescribe a medication to be administered during a prolonged seizure to help stop the seizure.
  • Emergency medical treatment is necessary when a seizure does not end on its own. Call 911 if a seizure lasts longer than 5 minutes or if a second seizure starts before the person has recovered from the first seizure. 

Common concerns

  • If a person starts to bleed from the mouth, s/he has probably bitten their tongue and is most likely not bleeding for any other reason. This can be taken care of after the seizure ends.
  • Breathing may be shallow during a seizure. Regular breathing should return when the seizure ends.
  • People don’t feel pain during a seizure, although muscles might be sore afterward.