Mental Health Basics

Convulsions – First-Assist Measures

Convulsions, or to make use of a typical, though distinctly un-medical time period, "suits", typically lead to well-meaning bystanders doing extra harm than good owing to misguided and outdated beliefs. Allow us to clear these misconceptions and be careful for the right first-aid measures to be taken.

Convulsions might have a number of causes, resembling idiopathic (trigger unknown) epilepsy; mind harm leading to psychological abnormality; a success or an damage to the pinnacle, leading to epilepsy at a later stage; tumours; kidney or liver failure; an over-indulgence in alcohol and narcotics or their withdrawal in persistent circumstances; and the abrupt withdrawal of epileptic medication.

A convulsion has 4 distinct phases:

  1. Aura: the affected person receives warning of an oncoming assault. This can be within the type of an abortive assault characterised by jerks or sure sensations – together with, generally, ache – which, from previous expertise, he can acknowledge as warning indicators.
  2. Tonic: The limbs stiffen, the jaw is clenched tightly shut, the affected person can also foam and drool on the mouth.
  3. Tonic-clonic: That is in all probability probably the most simply recognizable part, characterised by shaking or jerking motions of the physique. They might be localized in a single space or might happen everywhere in the physique. The affected person might lose management of his bowels and his bladder, leading to his passing stools and urine uncontrollably.
  4. Postictal: That is just like the aftermath of a storm. The affected person stays drowsy and uncertain of himself. He could also be in a semi-conscious and even unconscious state for a while.

The precise length of those phases is variable. Nevertheless, the primary stage often final from between a couple of seconds to a minute, whereas the final stage lasts from something between a couple of minutes to a couple hours.


  • Step one is to take the affected person away from speedy hazard to himself resembling sharp or onerous objects; busy thoroughfares; the exits of working buses or trains; a balcony or swimming pool edge.
  • Get him to lie down, inserting his head to 1 facet as a way to forestall vomitus from coming into the lungs (this might trigger aspiration pneumonia).
  • If attainable, put a folded handkerchief in his mouth between his entrance tooth, to stop him from biting his tongue. However, by no means must you put your finger or any onerous object into his mouth. With the unnatural pressure of the convulsion, he may chew off one thing like a stick and choke on it.
  • Loosen clothes in order to facilitate respiratory (this might not be attainable if an assault has already begun).
  • Give him ample area.


  • Restrain the affected person, as he might trigger you bodily hurt. Let the assault tide over in its personal time.
  • Feed or try to pour water into the affected person’s mouth (a typical mistake, particularly when coping with infants – water is taken into account the common reliever for many medical emergencies!)
  • Try the "onion within the mouth" or the "sleepers" routine. (if the affected person recovers in a couple of minutes, you might really feel these conventional strategies have ‘labored’, whereas the actual fact is simply that the convulsions has labored itself out).


When a number of assaults happen in a row, instantly summon medical assist as an anti-convulsion injection and different therapy can be known as for.

After the seizure:

  • Get the affected person to lie down if he isn’t doing so already.
  • Normally the affected person feels sleepy (the fourth part). In that case, let him drowse off.
  • Hold his head nicely on one facet as instructed earlier than.
  • Solely after the affected person has returned to regular ought to he be given something to eat or drink.