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When to call an ambulance

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When to call an ambulance

Usually, when a person has a seizure, there is no need to call 999 for an ambulance. However, here are some situations when you should call for an ambulance.

Always do call an ambulance if:

  • you know it 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, or
  • you do not know how long their seizures last.

For someone you do not know, follow our basic first aid message: Calm, Cushion, Call.

Some people recover quickly from a tonic clonic seizure, but often they will be very tired, want to sleep, and may not feel back to normal for several hours or sometimes days.

Epilepsy Society is grateful to Dr F J Rugg-Gunn Consultant Neurologist & Honorary Associate Professor, Clinical Lead, Chalfont Centre for Epilepsy, who reviewed this information.

Information updated: May 2024

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