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Understanding SUDEP: Risks and Prevention

Rare but Possible: Death from Epilepsy

While it is very rare for someone to die from epilepsy, it is not impossible. Some deaths result from accidents that occur during a seizure, such as falling and hitting their head. However, the vast majority are due to what is known as Sudden Unexpected Death in Epilepsy, or SUDEP.

What is SUDEP?

SUDEP is estimated to cause around 600 deaths each year in the UK. The exact causes of SUDEP are not yet fully understood. However, the risk of SUDEP depends on the type of epilepsy and how well it is managed. In many cases, SUDEP has occurred during or after a seizure, sometimes during sleep.

Reducing the Risk of SUDEP

Currently, the most effective way to reduce the risk of SUDEP is to take prescribed medication exactly as intended, at the correct time and in the correct dosage. Proper management of epilepsy is crucial to minimise the risks associated with seizures.

Key Points to Remember

  • Always take your prescribed medication as directed.
  • Ensure you follow your treatment plan consistently.
  • Monitor your condition and report any changes to your healthcare provider.
  • Maintain regular check-ups with your healthcare team to manage your epilepsy effectively.

By following these guidelines, you can help to manage your epilepsy and reduce the risk of SUDEP, ensuring a safer and healthier life.