Atonic seizure first aid

Atonic seizures are sometimes called drop attacks.

Watch this short video about how to recognise an atonic seizure.

During a seizure the person usually loses all muscle tone and drops heavily to the floor. The seizure is very brief and the person is usually able to get up again straight away.

However, falls can result in injury, often to the face, nose or head. Sometimes the person might not completely fall, but their head might drop forward or they might sag at the knees.

How to help

  • Atonic seizures happen very quickly, so there is not much you can do while the seizure is happening
  • Afterwards people can usually carry on with what they doing

Next steps

Arrange first aid or get medical assistance if they’ve been injured.

Adult with a learning disability and epilepsy sitting in a restaurant.

Epilepsy information for carers

This information is for carers of someone with epilepsy and a learning difficulty.

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