Published: 2019-09-12T08:00:00Z

1. What first aid treatment should you give a casualty experiencing an epileptic seizure?

2. Why would you place an unconscious casualty into the recovery position?

3. Why do you need to establish consent to provide first aid?

4. How can you minimise risk of infection to yourself and others when providing first aid?

Answers below...

 

1. What first aid treatment should you give a casualty experiencing an epileptic seizure?

  • Move dangerous objects away and gently protect the head with a folded coat or, your hands
  • Note the time and duration of the seizure
  • Loosen any tight clothing around the neck

Call 999 for emergency help if the seizure lasts longer than five minutes, they have a second seizure, they have become injured or, this is the casualty's first ever seizure.

After the seizure, open the airway and check for normal breathing. Start CRP if needed or, place them in the recovery position.  Move bystanders away to protect modesty.  Call 999 if you can't wake them up within five minutes. Constantly monitor airway and breathing.


2. Why would you place an unconscious casualty into the recovery position?

Unconsciousness can be defined as 'an interruption in the normal activity of the brain'. Unlike sleep, unconsciousness can disable the body's natural reflexes such as coughing or gagging. 

If someone is unconscious and lying on their back, the airway can become blocked by the:

  • tongue touching the back of the throat or,
  • vomit if the casualty is sick.

For this reason, unconscious casualties take priority and need urgent help.  Placing a casualty in the recovery position protects the airway from both of these dangers.  The tongue will not fall backwards and vomit will run out of the mouth.


3. Why do you need to establish consent to provide first aid?

It is important to ask for the casualty's consent before giving first aid.  Believe it or not, just touching someone without their permission could be classed as assault. 

If the casualty is unconscious however, the law allows you to assume that they give consent to your help.


4. How can you minimise risk of infection to yourself and others when providing first aid?

  • Wash your hands before and after giving help
  • Wear disposable gloves
  • Wear protective clothing if needed
  • Cover your own cuts with a plaster
  • Dispose of contaminated waste carefully
  • Use sterile, undamaged, in-date dressings
     
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