Fact sheet #17 St John protocols

This information has been approved by Midland St John Ambulance, Hamilton

St John protocols for transporting someone who has had a seizure to the hospital

Quite often, when someone has had a seizure, a member of the public calls emergency services. However, the person having the seizure usually recovers within a few minutes, and an ambulance trip (for which there may be a fee) to the Accident and Emergency (A & E) Department at the hospital is often unnecessary and inconvenient for the person with epilepsy.

St John has put in place new protocols when determining if a trip to the A & E Department is required. Do not be alarmed if the person with epilepsy does not go in the ambulance to A & E, because it is recognised that normally the best thing for recovery is a good sleep at home.

What are the protocols?

St John ambulance staff may not transport a person with epilepsy to the A and E department if:

1) The person is known to have epilepsy
2) The person’s epileptic seizure has not been complicated by injury
3) The person has recovered to the usual post-ictal state
4) The person is left in the care of a competent adult
5) The person has not received more than one dose of midazolam (a drug used for epilepsy)
6) The person has been instructed to see his/her family doctor to obtain treatment.

Having said all of that, if you are unsure and are really worried, then it is your right to ask for further help. St John staff are there to care for you and they are highly trained in dealing with people with epilepsy. Witnessing someone having a seizure can be unsettling but remain calm, and understand that most convulsive seizures are temporary and do not necessitate a trip to the hospital. Trained ambulance officers will assess the situation and, if there is any doubt in their own minds, then further medical action will be taken.

For further information please refer to EWCT fact sheet 4 on “What to do if someone is having a convulsive seizure”.

Disclaimer: this fact sheet is for education purposes only. Please consult your doctor or other health professional for advice regarding your epilepsy.
Last modified: March 23rd, 2018 by EWCT | Posted in: Fact Sheets