What to do if Someone is having Seizure #EpilepsyDay 2024

In advance of International Epilepsy Day on the 12th of February, Epilepsy Ireland, the national patient organisation supporting people living with the condition, have appealed to local people across Dublin to learn about Seizure First Aid. 

The organisation is highlighting the importance of knowing the three key words of TIME, SAFE, STAY.

Commenting on the campaign, Paddy McGeoghegan, Advocacy & Communications Manager at Epilepsy Ireland said, “Epilepsy is one of the most common neurological conditions in Ireland, affecting over 45,000 people across the country. It is much closer to home than you might think, and it is crucially important the public know how to respond to a seizure. This is one of the most common themes we hear from people with epilepsy and their families. You never know when you might need to respond to a seizure so please do take 5 minutes to learn more about epilepsy and TIME, SAFE, STAY for International Epilepsy Day.”

But what is meant by TIME, SAFE, STAY?

TIME – The first thing you should do is TIME the seizure. This is because if a seizure goes over 5 minutes, an ambulance should be called.

SAFE – Keep the person SAFE during the seizure. If a person is having a convulsive seizure, cushion their head with something soft if possible and remove any harmful objects, e.g. furniture from their vicinity. NEVER put anything in a person’s mouth or restrain them during a seizure.

Be aware that there are also types of seizures where the person does not experience convulsions. Instead, they may “zone out” or stare blankly, become confused or agitated, display behaviours like chewing, smacking their lips, fiddling with their clothes, or wandering aimlessly. In this type of seizure, the person’s awareness of their surroundings is affected, and it is important to gently guide the person away from any danger. As with convulsive seizures, NEVER restrict the person’s movements.

STAY – During the seizure and after it passes, STAY with the person. Often after a seizure, a person with epilepsy will be confused and in many cases, exhausted. Make sure to stay with them until recovery is complete, explain what has happened and gently reassure them. The person may have experienced an injury if they have fallen, and if this is the case, ensure normal first aid steps are taken.


An estimated 11,500 people living with epilepsy in the county.

To learn more about epilepsy and seizure first aid, or to contact your local Epilepsy Ireland Community Resource Officer, visit www.epilepsy.ie