Your Seizure Action Plan Provides Peace Of Mind

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If you have epilepsy or are prone to seizures, creating an action plan is a smart idea. Your plan will help others know what to do if you are having a seizure. And it can provide you peace of mind that you’ll be properly cared for during and after the event.

“A plan reduces the likelihood that someone will panic if they witness your seizure. It tells them how to keep you safe during the event,” says Michael Kentris, DO. “It also may help to avoid unnecessary treatment or a trip to the hospital. Your action plan should make you more confident that your seizure will be handled appropriately. For many, it eases anxiety and lets them live a more carefree lifestyle.”

What Does the Plan Include?

Imagine you come across someone who is having a seizure and you have no idea what to do. A seizure action plan has step-by-step instructions on how you can help. Dr. Kentris suggests your plan include these instructions:

I am being treated for a seizure disorder. If I am having a seizure:

  1. Get me to a safe place where I can’t fall or be harmed.
  2. Take note of the time that my seizure began. Most seizures end before two minutes, then I’ll regain consciousness, and begin to act normally.
  3. Don’t hold me down, and don’t put anything in my mouth.
  4. If my seizure has lasted longer than five minutes, call 911.
  5. Once my seizure has ended, if I am not breathing properly, call 911.
  6. After my seizure ends, I may act confused or tired or aggressive. This is only temporary.
  7. Please stay with me until I am fully alert. If I don’t appear fully alert several minutes after the seizure ends, call 911.
  8. If you call 911, please also call my emergency contact person:NAME/NUMBER________________________________________

If you have a vagal nerve stimulator, include this information on your seizure action plan. If emergency personnel are notified, they will want to know.

With Whom Should I Share My Plan?

Your plan should be shared with anyone who is near you on a regular basis. This may include:

  • Teachers. The Epilepsy Foundation provides this School Seizure Action Plan
  • Employer and co-workers
  • Coaches and teammates
  • Friends
  • Family

Keep a copy of your plan in your wallet. A medical alert ID bracelet is also advisable, preferably one that can be customized to say: Seizure disorder. See instructions in my wallet.

“A video recording of what a typical seizure looks like can be very educational,” says Dr. Kentris. “You can show it to family, friends, and co-workers so they have a better idea of what to expect.” The video can be especially helpful to children who may witness your seizure; it can help to remove their fear and give them confidence that they can handle the situation.

To learn more about seizure action plans, talk to your doctor or health care provider or search for a provider.

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