First aid during a seizure” infor­ma­tion campaign

In autumn 2020 the Swiss League Against Epilepsy has launched a national campaign explaining how to provide first aid during an epileptic seizure. It explains how do to this from the point of view of people living with epilepsy, because providing help is actually very easy – and you don’t always need an ambulance. The clear and simple campaign explains what to do, and features the experi­ences of three people with epilepsy who have also allowed their images to be used on the visuals.

First aid during an epileptic seizure

1. Prevent injury

  • Do not put anything between the person’s teeth
  • Put something soft under their head
  • Loosen any tight clothing
  • Move any nearby objects
  • Do not attempt to prevent the convulsions

2. Only ring an ambulance if…

  • The person has serious injuries
  • The convul­sions last longer than 3 minutes

After the seizure

  • Place the person into the recovery position
  • Stay with them

People with epilepsy tell their stories

Lea John, Nadja Brönni­mann and Thomas Jud all have epilepsy and have agreed to share their experi­ences as part of the infor­ma­tion campaign. Their photos are featured on the posters, flyers and other adver­tising materials. Here the three of them talk about their experi­ences of epilepsy and how they would like bystanders to react if they see them having a seizure. The three posters can be downloaded in PDF format or are avail­able to order from us.

Lea John

Lea John
Lea John
“Lots of people don’t know what to do if someone has an epileptic seizure, and simply look away.”

Why is the campaign impor­tant to you?
We are completely normal people, we just have an illness. Epilepsy is part of my life, I acknowl­edge and accept it. Lots of people don’t know what epilepsy is or how they can help, which is why I’m pleased that this campaign is going to explain. What’s impor­tant for me is the oppor­tu­nity to show people how they can help if someone has an epileptic seizure. Helping isn’t difficult.

How do you relate to the visual used in the campaign?
It shows exactly how I feel when I’ve had a seizure: like there’s been a storm in my brain, confu­sion and loss of orientation.

Have you ever had a seizure in a public place?
Yes. People thought I’d had too much alcohol, but I’d only drunk iced tea. I felt misun­der­stood and judged. Lots of people don’t know what to do if someone has an epileptic seizure, and simply look away.

In your opinion what do the public need to know about epilepsy?
What’s really impor­tant to me is: Help. Don’t look away. Epilepsy isn’t conta­gious. I don’t mind people asking me about my illness and I’m happy to tell them about it. That helps increase aware­ness so that people are less judgmental and more supportive.

Nadja Brönni­mann

Nadja Brönnimann
Nadja Brönni­mann
“Instead of helping me, bystanders filmed me while I was having an epileptic seizure.”

Why is the campaign impor­tant to you?
For bystanders in partic­ular it’s impor­tant to know what to do. I hope this campaign can help explain epilepsy and seizures because they aren’t as bad as they look.

How do you relate to the visual used in the campaign?
I can identify with it completely, it’s very apt.

Have you ever had a seizure in a public place?
Yes. It was awful because bystanders filmed me rather than helping me. It took me a long time to get over the experi­ence. There was also one person who kept on talking at me after the seizure. That was really confusing and unpleasant because I had fallen during the seizure and was concussed.

In your opinion what do the public need to know about epilepsy?
When I’ve had a seizure what I really want is for someone to stay with me and be there for me, but not keep on asking me questions. I’d also like them not to always call an ambulance straight away. That’s not usually necessary.

Thomas Jud

Thomas Jud
Thomas Jud
“Please don’t look away. It’s impor­tant to help.”

Why is the campaign impor­tant to you?
This illness affects many people much more than it affects me, and for them daily life is a struggle. I’d like to show solidarity with those people and raise public aware­ness of epilepsy.

How do you relate to the visual used in the campaign?
It gets the message across perfectly. After a seizure I’m confused and feel empty.

Have you ever had a seizure in a public place?
Not yet, luckily!

In your opinion what do the public need to know about epilepsy?
Please don’t look away. It’s impor­tant to help. Whatever the scenario – so in other emergen­cies, too!

Poster 1: Lea John

Download poster
Order Poster (German)

Poster 2: Nadja Brönnimann

Download poster
Order Poster (German)

Poster 3: Thomas Jud

Download poster
Order Poster (German)

Campaign flyer (German/French)

Download (French)
Order publi­ca­tions (French)

The campaign is supported by: