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Seizures on Campus

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CALL 911 IMMEDIATELY

Download these Instructions

Download these instructions for visual instructions and quick access: Seizure Procedure (PDF).

Important contacts:

Emergency Medical Personnel: 911
Campus safety: 503-594-6650
Disability Resource Center: 503-594-6357

Seizure or Faintness Accommodations

Seizures can be frightening to a person having a seizure as well as those who are around when one occurs. Be sensitive and supportive to everyone involved. Realize if one occurs in a classroom, students may not be in a place to regroup immediately after an incident occurs.

A seizure is typically caused by an electric disruption in the brain. Stress, drugs, tumors, and medical conditions can cause seizures.

How do you recognize a seizure?

Some common signs of seizures are body shaking, convulsions, tremors, spasms, involuntary change in behavior, altered sense of awareness. Some types of seizures are:

Atonic Seizure: The person may drop to the or or go slack in their chair due to sudden loss of muscle control. It can last a few seconds and they could lose consciousness.

Complex partial seizure: The person will not be responsive, but appear conscious to others. The seizure may last for a few seconds or minutes and may include things such as moving lips, aimless wandering, grinding teeth, rubbing or dgeting with hands. Awareness maybe impaired.
Simple partial seizure: The person is lucid and conscious of changes in how things feel, look or taste for a few seconds.

Absence Seizure (Petit Mal): An Absence seizure can last a few seconds to a minute and may cause confusion as well as abnormal face or eye movements.

Tonic-Clonic Seizure (Grand Mal): When people hear the term “seizure” this is the most common type known and what usually comes to mind. The body can become rigid, which is followed by a series of convulsive movements in which the body can jerk for 2 to 3 minutes. A person can lose consciousness or awareness during these seizures.

What do I do if my student has a seizure or other medical emergency?

Steps to take:

  • Stay calm, most seizures only last a few minutes.
  • Have someone call 911 immediately. Make sure the caller knows the building and room number in which the incident is taking place.
  • Make sure to also have someone call college safety to alert them to the incident with location and information that 911 has been called.
  • Have someone go out to meet medical personnel that will be arriving on campus.
  • If you are in a classroom, determine whether you want to ask someone to lead students out of the classroom or just ask them to calmly leave the room.
Once medical personnel has been alerted, here are some steps you can take to assist:
  • Do not put anything in the student’s mouth.
  • Clear the area of items that the person may hit their head or limbs on.
  • If possible, place something soft under the person’s head.
  • Other medical emergency — Please only respond to your level of medical training until emergency medical personnel arrive.
After the seizure
  • The student should be placed on their side.
  • Place the student in recovery position (see image). Make sure that their head is turned downward to prevent aspiration and choking on uids.
  • People can be embarrassed or confused about what happened, keep this in mind as they wake up or become more alert.
  • Depending on the severity and the persons’ familiarity with their condition, the person may decline medical attention and feel able to resume their activities. It is important to respect this decision and to be supportive.
  • You want to let them know they are safe and have had a seizure if they are confused.
  • Stay with the person until medical personnel arrive.
Words of caution
  • Do not try to hold the student down during the seizure.
  • Do not put anything in the student’s mouth.
  • Do not give the student food, water, or pills until he or she is fully awake.
Clackamas Community College Process
  • Calling 911 is MANDATORY. The student can refuse transport to a hospital when medical staff arrive, but the student will need to be assessed by the emergency medical personnel.
  • Alert college safety that 911 has been called.
  • Check with your department chair or supervisor to determine if an incident report needs to be completed.
  • If a student with a seizure disorder is having repeated seizures during the quarter that are impacting the learning outcomes of the course or required hours, please contact the Disability Resource Center drc@clackamas.edu
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