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sweetieann sweetieann (Member)

Do you typically apply supplemental O2 (by nasal cannula to a patient DURING the seizure?

hypocaffeinemia, BSN, RN

Specializes in Critical Care.

Do you typically apply supplemental O2 (by nasal cannula to a patient DURING the seizure?

A mask would be easier and with less risk of...erm.. nasal trauma, I'd think. :p


Specializes in LTC, MDS, Education.

Yes I apply 2 liters because they look cyanotic most of the time. Feel so helpless during a seizure.... Once you have made sure they cannot injure themselves, oxygen seems to be the right thing to do. It sure won't hurt......And on the slim chance they stop breathing, you are ahead of the game. Also gives you time to measure pulse ox.:smokin:


Has 12 years experience.

Depends on the hx and condition of the pt.


Specializes in Emergency. Has 2 years experience.

100% NRB usually

Our hospital has a specialty unit where patients come to have seizures on purpose, while on 24 hour EEG monitoring and closed circuit TV. What I learned from the nurses there:

Protect their head!

Have suction set up ready to remove excess secretions, so that they don't aspirate.

Apply O2, preferably by mask. You don't need a NRB, but it doesn't hurt. A plain mask with the flow cranked up high is a good thing. It is not uncommon for people to have brief periods of apnea during seizures, and it will probably pass before the code team arrives. If not, they may get intubated and win a trip to the ICU.

Don't try to restrain the patient or hold them down. You won't stop the shaking, and you risk causing them musculoskeletal injuries.

Protect their head! If they aren't in a bed, get a pillow under it somehow. (Why do people seize in the bathrooms!)

It is amazing what a person can bite through when their jaw clenches in uncontrollable spasms. Don't introduce anything fragile into their oral cavity. Intubation equiptment and maybe a yankeur as needed are the only things you should dare put in their mouth.

Expect incontinence.

A couple of milligrams of ativan is your friend. Now you see why everyone in the hospital should have an IV access until DC.

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