About Epilepsy
Learn About Epilepsy

Know What It Is

It’s a Seizure

Not all seizures look the same. Focal Seizures with Impaired Awareness (formerly known as complex partial seizures) usually start with a blank stare, followed by repetitive physical activity.  Movements tend to be repetitive and clumsy. The person appears dazed and may make sounds like muffled speech. While focal seizures with impaired awareness usually last only a few minutes, post-seizure confusion can last substantially longer. This condition should not be mistaken as intoxication.

In this situation, it is important to stay with the person. Do not try to stop the seizure, but let it take its course. The person will be unaware of his or her actions, and may or may not hear you. Move dangerous objects out of the way and don’t restrain the person. Gently guide the person away from danger or remove all hazardous materials. Afterward, talk gently to reassure the person and stay with them until complete awareness returns.

When should an AMBULANCE be called?

  • If a convulsion seizure lasts longer than 5 minutes
  • If consciousness or regular breathing does not return after the seizure has ended
  • If seizures repeat without full recovery between seizures
  • If confusion after a seizure persists for more than 1 hour
  • If the seizure occurs in water
  • If it is a first-time seizure, or the person is injured, pregnant or has diabetes

For more information on how to properly respond to a seizure or to receive an e-brochure on Emergency Seizure Response, please contact Epilepsy Toronto at 416 964-9095 or email info@epilepsytoronto.org