During an atonic seizure the muscles go limp and people can suddenly drop to the floor or slump if sitting down.
1Atonic seizures are brief and will usually last for 1 or 2 seconds
2Atonic seizures are sometimes called drop attacks or drop seizures
3This type of seizure can have a generalised onset, where both sides of the brain are aﬀected from the start. Or it can be focal onset, meaning it starts in one side of the brain
4It’s common for people to fall forwards during an atonic seizure and there is a risk of injury to the head, nose or face
5Because there is risk of head injury with atonic seizures, some people wear protective headgear
How people can help
If you have atonic seizures
It’s helpful for others to:
- Know that atonic seizures are brief and happen with no warning. This makes it difficult to help during the few seconds of the actual seizure
- Be calm and reassuring
- Stay with you and check if you need any help afterwards, for example first aid for bruises, cuts, or other injuries
- Seek medical advice if you have a head injury or have seriously hurt yourself
After the seizure
- Muscle tone should return as soon as the seizure is over
- You may be a bit confused but should usually be able to return to what you were doing fairly quickly
- You may feel tired and want rest for a while after the seizure
Keeping a seizure diary really helps people to understand their seizures better.
What percentage of your seizures are you recording in a seizure diary?
Go to the Seizures menu