Suppose, I am an examiner in an oral exam. I have done my best to design and conduct the exam to reduce students’ anxiety, but it just didn’t work: The student has a panic attack that makes it impossible to continue the exam in a regular way. How can I rescue the situation, if at all?
The student is not just nervous, but is in some anxiety spiral, freezes, cries, etc. They obviously cannot think straight anymore or answer questions in a manner that would allow a reasonable assessment. Any attempt to just continue the exam would only exacerbate the situation.
Of course, every panic attack is different. I am aware that I need to weigh the alternatives depending on the specifics of the situation. This question is asking for the toolbox; I still need to select the right tool myself.
Assume that, before the panic attack, the student has not yet demonstrated sufficient skill, knowledge etc. to pass the exam. (Usually, because the exam only took a few minutes so far.)
This question is not about prevention. While that is certainly the preferable way, it doesn’t always work and we already have a question on that: How to help reduce students' anxiety in an oral exam? That question is about what can be done in preparation or while staying “examination mode” such as asking very basic questions or switching the topic. This question is about when that has failed.
The baseline option (i.e., doing nothing) would be to let the student fail the exam and re-take it as far as permitted by the pertaining examination and accommodation rules. I acknowledge that this may be the best option in many cases, but it is still dissatisfying as it is a lot of work and effort for everybody involved and the situation may just repeat.