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Do I need a seizure action plan as an adult?

Whether you have been living with epilepsy for a while or are newly diagnosed, you may think seizure action plans (SAPs) are for kids and are not applicable to adults. While it is true that the use of seizure action plans are common for kids because they are often required by schools, they are a great tool for adults too.

Seizure Action Plans for Adults

Did you know that there are seizure action plans that are specifically designed for adults and their caregivers? These documents provide guidance on your individualized treatment plan, including how you want others to respond to potential seizure emergencies and your guidance on appropriate use of rescue therapy.

Here’s an example of a seizure action plan designed specifically for adults:


Do I Really Need a Plan?

You are not required to have one. And maybe that’s the problem. Because we’re not required to have a seizure action plan there’s very little drive to put one together. But if you want to have a say in how you are cared for during a seizure I would recommend putting one in place.

In my twenties, I was working on the 18th floor of an office building on the Upper West Side of Manhattan. A few of my co-workers knew I had epilepsy but no one had first aid training. No one knew about my seizure type. They certainly didn’t know which meds I was on. That day I had a tonic clonic (grand mal) seizure in the big conference room. I managed to smash my head against the leg of the conference table and scare the crap out of my coworkers.

I woke up to find myself on the floor in my best suit, with coworkers and paramedics standing around me as they prepared to load me onto a gurney. I did not have a seizure action plan in place. Luckily a colleague who also had a hidden and chronic health condition offered to ride with me to the hospital. Even more luckily my phone was charged enough that someone was able to call my husband and let him know what was happening so he could meet me at the hospital. I will be forever grateful.

I Was Lucky

If that seizure had happened while I was on the train heading home or out getting lunch the scenario could have been very different. I was extremely lucky that the worst that happened was embarrassment and I ruined a good suit.

But had I been wearing a medical ID and if I had a seizure action plan in writing and on my person, there would not have been any question about my doctors names, who to call, what was happening and how to proceed.


I encourage you to develop a seizure action plan no matter how old you are. Speak to your doctor to see if they have a form they recommend. If not feel free to download the form I have provided here.






Follow Jessica K. Smith:


Founder and CEO Jessica brings a unique perspective to this leading epilepsy blog as she was diagnosed with epilepsy as a teen. She also brings 20+ years experience in marketing.

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