Since putting up That blog entry, I've had a few people ask me what they should do if they see somebody having a fit. Here's the basics:
While a grand mal is scary to watch, it's not always an emergency. Look and see if they have a medic-alert bracelet with details of the problem.
Lower the person carefully onto the ground.
If possible, turn their head to one side so that they don't choke on their saliva or tongue. It is not possible to "swallow" your tongue, but it can fall back and block the airway.
Stay with them, and make sure they can't knock into anything. Place something soft under the person's head.
Don't put anything in the person's mouth-- it could break their teeth or choke them.
Don't restrain them. This could cause the person to break or dislocate a bone.
Reassure them. An epileptic may feel very disoriented and anxious on coming to; tell them they've had a fit, tell them where they are and who you are.
Stay with them until they are fully aware of their surroundings.
If the fit lasts longer than 5 or 10 minutes, or if it's the person's first fit, or they've had more than one fit, then summon emergency medical assistance.
So now you know, eh?