ABC of Safety in the Biological Sciences




A seizure is described as a sudden, transient disturbance of a cerebral function due to an abnormal neuronal discharge of the brain.123 The symptoms may be:

  • loss of consciousness
  • jerking movements in all extremities
  • subtle change in behaviour

Although there are numerous causes a seizure can result from head injury, epilepsy, high fever, poisoning, drug or alcohol withdrawal or hypoglycaemia.

During a seizure it is necessary to protect the victim from causing unnecessary injury to themselves. If at all possible:
1. place something firm, but soft, between the teeth but only if the mouth can be opened easily.
2. loosen any tight clothing.
3. move hard objects away from the victim or place yourself between the victim and any hard object.

The victim might stop breathing during the seizure, but this will normally resume once the seizure has ceased. If this is not the case, apply artificial respiration (a personal face mask should be worn to protect yourself from the victim).


BACK to the top of the Glossary Contents List
BACK to the top of the Chemical Contents List