Danger signs during labor 87
Seizures (“fits”) with eclampsia
If the mother starts to have a seizure (“fit”):
• Put something under her head to protect it,
and put her on her left side if possible.
But do not try to hold her down.
• Keep her cool.
• Send someone to
take her to the
If possible, give one of the following medicines:
• magnesium sulfate, 50% solution. Inject 5 g deeply
into each buttock muscle once. Repeat after 4 hours
danger signs during
➤ For more
these medicines, see
the “Green Pages.”
How to give diazepam
A woman having seizures (“fits”) cannot swallow pills, and diazepam may not
work well when injected into a muscle during a seizure. So it is usually best to put
either liquid (injectable) diazepam or diazepam pills that have been crushed and
mixed with water into the mother’s rectum.
Liquid diazepam. Give 20 mg after the first
convulsion. If there are other convulsions,
give 10 mg after each one, leaving at least
20 minutes between doses.
Be sure to take
off the needle!
To give liquid diazepam, first load
a syringe and then TAKE OFF the needle.
Put the barrel of the syringe gently
into the rectum about 2 inches and
empty it inside. Hold the barrel of the
syringe in place for at least 5 minutes.
It will act as a plug to keep the
medicine from coming out. If some
fluid leaks out of the anus, it is OK to
give 5 mg more.
Diazepam pills. If you only have diazepam pills, you can crush them and mix them
with clean, cool water. The pills will not completely dissolve. Crush 20 mg of pills.
To give the pills, draw the water and pill mixture up into a syringe with the
needle already removed, and put it into the rectum—the same as above.
Where Women Have No Doctor 2012