Clinician’s Corner: What the Devil is a Seizure Action Plan and an Acute Seizure Action Plan?

adult man looking at another adult who is speaking - Clinician's Corner

By: Dr. Patricia Penovich

The Seizure Action Plan (SAP) is a multiple page summary which is dated of the person’s epilepsy. It summarizes their vital information: patient identity, date of birth, types and description of seizures, seizure triggers, medications, emergency contact names and numbers including the health care provider and the preferred hospital, allergies, epilepsy surgical history and surgical devices, diet therapies, first aid options, and rescue therapy directions. It is useful as a broad overview of the patient’s epilepsy history, particularly in situations such as seeing another health care provider, being hospitalized, moving to a new area or situation.

An Acute Seizure Action Plan (ASAP) is a very brief 1-2 page roadmap for what to do at the time of the seizure or a cluster of seizures including: emergency contact information, seizure trigger and pattern, what seizures look like, initial first aid, directions for the “when and how to” use rescue therapy if prescribed, and signals for when to call 911. This may be in a graphic or a written form that is dated.

Both plans are important for patient care, safety, and self-management.  It is important that the plan is updated and revised regularly, particularly if any treatments are altered.  Developing these plans in partnership with the healthcare provider provides another way in which the patient, caregiver, and provider improve communication and education.

More Information:

General Information:

Seizure Action Plan sample form: 

Acute Seizure Action Plan description and sample form: 

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