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when to dial 999

Information about when to call for an ambulance when someone is having a seizure. Usually when a person has an epileptic seizure there is no need to call an ambulance. However, always dial 999 for an ambulance if any of the following apply:

  • Ambulanceit is the person’s first seizure
  • they have injured themselves badly
  • they have trouble breathing after the seizure has stopped
  • one seizure immediately follows another with no recovery in between
  • the seizure lasts two minutes longer than is usual for them
  • the seizure lasts for more than five minutes and you do not know how long their seizures usually last.

These guidelines are particularly relevant for tonic clonic (convulsive) seizures.


Further information

See also what do I need to know about someone’s epilepsy?

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.