Seizures in a wheelchair

If a person with epilepsy uses a wheelchair or has mobility problems, their GP or epilepsy specialist should give them a care plan. This should include advice on how to help the person if they have a seizure.

Here is some general advice about how to help someone who is having a seizure in a wheelchair.


  • Put the brakes on, to stop the chair from moving
  • Let them remain seated in the chair during the seizure (unless they have a care plan which says to move them). Moving them could possibly lead to injuries for both you and them
  • If they have a seatbelt or harness on, leave it fastened
  • If they don’t have a seatbelt or harness, support them gently, so they don’t fall out of the chair
  • Cushion their head and support it gently. A head rest, cushion or rolled up coat can be helpful
  • Time how long the seizure lasts


  • Don’t restrain their movements
  • Don’t put anything in their mouth
  • Don’t give them anything to eat or drink until they are fully recovered
  • Don’t attempt to bring them round

Call for an ambulance if any of these things apply:

  • You know it is their first seizure
  • The seizure lasts for more than 5 minutes
  • They have one seizure after another without regaining consiousness between seizures
  • They are seriously injured during the seizure

After the seizure

The person’s care plan should give advice on what to do after the seizure has finished. For example, it should say if it is safe to move them from the wheelchair to put them in the recovery position.

Published: October 2021
Last modified: May 2023
To be reviewed: February 2023
Was this article helpful?
Was this article helpful?