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what do I need to know about someone's epilepsy?

If you know someone with epilepsy, you might like to ask them about their seizures so that you can help them if they have a seizure. Here are some questions to help you.

What you need to know

  • What types of seizures do they have, and what happens during them? For example complex focal seizures or absences.
  • How long do their seizures normally last? Epileptic seizures usually stop by themselves. Although the length of seizures is different from person to person a seizure usually lasts the same length of time for each person.
  • How often do they have seizures? Some people keep a note of when their seizures happen, in a seizure diary.
  • Are their seizures usually triggered or 'brought on' by anything, such as stress or tiredness?
  • Do they have a history of status epilepticus? If so, do they need emergency medication?
  • How long does it take them to fully recover after a seizure? Some people recover quickly, others may be confused for a while.
  • Do they take anti-epileptic drugs? When do they usually take them?
  • Do they have a medical ID card or jewellery that says how to help them during a seizure?​

Further information

Our free smartphone app contains first aid information including when to dial 999 and how to put someone in the recovery position. It is available on both iPhone and Android phones. Download it now.

Taken from our First aid leaflet. Order this leaflet from our online shop as part of our 'first five free' offer.