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Learning Centre

When to call an ambulance

When someone is having a seizure, it may seem as though an ambulance would be an automatic reaction, but not every seizure actually requires medical intervention.

A person having a seizure needs an ambulance IF…

  • It is a first time seizure
  • It happens in water
  • It lasts longer than 5 minutes
  • The seizure repeats without a full recovery in between
  • The person has diabetes
  • Regular breathing or full awareness does not resume after the seizure
  • If an injury occurs
  • It is recommended in their specific care plan

IMPORTANT NOTE: Status Epilepticus (SE) is a continuous seizure state when the individual does not regain consciousness between seizure events.

THIS IS POTENTIALLY LIFE THREATENING! Severe brain damage or death can occur. Immediate medical care is required. Generally SE is defined as any seizure over 5 minutes, but it is also informed by the person’s health history and will be reflected in their physician’s recommendations and, if they have one, the plan of care in their home.