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- Stay calm. You cannot stop a seizure once it has started.
- Place the patient on the floor or bed to prevent injury.
- Do not restrain the patient.
- Clear the area of hard, sharp or hot objects to protect the patient from injury.
- Do not force anything between the teeth.
- Do not be concerned if the patient stops breathing temporarily during the seizure.
- After the seizure, turn the patient on his or her side and make sure breathing is not obstructed.
- Provide supplemental oxygen after the seizure if it is available and if you are trained to use it.
- Arrange prompt transport to an appropriate medical facility.
Garry Briese is the executive director of the International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC) and, along with David Schottke, co-author of the new edition of First Responder: Your First Response In Emergency Care, available from Jones & Bartlett Publishers. The book is produced by the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons and the National Safety Council.