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14 May 2015

Keeping people with epilepsy safe

A report looking at the challenges of keeping people with epilepsy informed and safe has been published (12 May) as part of the BMJ Quality Improvement Programme.

The report authors, including Epilepsy Society's national nurse consultant Juliet Ashton, looked at why, despite guidance to discuss the possibility of Sudden Unexpected Death in Epilepsy (SUDEP)  with people newly diagnosed with the condition, it was rarely done.

Identifying risk factors

Researchers drew  up a checklist to help identify risk factors for SUDEP then used telehealth to talk to carers and people with epilepsy by phone to assess and understand individual risk.  Feedback results were positive, challenging  the popular preconception that discussing SUDEP upsets patients.

The five minute risk assessment  checklist informs people with epilepsy about their risk factors and how some lifestyle choices; for example medication compliance and surveillance at night can have a positive impact on limiting individual risk of SUDEP.  

Read about SUDEP risk 

Read the full report (opens new window)