Hesperian Health Guides

Seizures, Convulsions

The Healthwiki provides free information to 20,000 people every day.
This is made possible by donors like you!

Make a giftMake a gift to support this essential health information people depend on.


HealthWiki > New Where There Is No Doctor > First Aid > Seizures, Convulsions


Seizures are sudden, usually brief, periods of unconsciousness or changes in mental state, often with jerking movements.

Seizures may be caused by high fever, dehydration, an injury, malaria, poisoning, or other reasons. Seizures that recur are called epilepsy—see Head and Brain Problems (in development). If none of these dangerous causes of seizure seem likely, a single seizure may not be a problem (although it can be very frightening to watch). If seizures recur, see a health worker.

Treatment

During a seizure, clear the space around the person so she does not hurt herself. Turn her on her side so she does not choke if she vomits. Do not hold a seizing person down or try to hold her tongue.

For seizure from dehydration, get medical help. After the seizure is over, give rehydration fluids.

For a seizure from meningitis, get medical help.

For seizure from malaria, get medical help. On the way, give diazepam. Treat with malaria medicines (see Illnesses from Mosquitoes - in development).

If the seizure lasts more than 15 minutes, put liquid diazepam in the anus using a syringe without a needle. Do not give more than the recommended dose and do not give more than 2 doses.

The spasms caused by tetanus can be mistaken for seizures. The jaw shuts tightly (lockjaw) and the body suddenly bends back. Learn to spot early signs of tetanus.

After a seizure, the person may be confused or drowsy.
Comfort her.

NWTND fa Page 50-1.png


This page was updated:10 May 2018