A team specialising in epilepsy at Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust is helping to raise awareness of a rare condition among children.
Wednesday, October 20 is Sudden Unexpected Death in Epilepsy (SUDEP) Action Day, devoted to raising awareness about the issue and encouraging people with epilepsy to learn about SUDEP and their risk, and honouring the lives of those who have been lost.
Laura Jones, Paediatric Epilepsy Specialist Practitioner at Blackpool Teaching Hospitals, has highlighted her team’s advice for those who live with epilepsy in a bid to help.
She explained that SUDEP is often not widely known about or discussed, and although rare does occur in one in every 4,500 children and more commonly in adults, around 1 in 1,000.
She explained: “Certain groups are more at risk, for example those with poorly-controlled epilepsy, those who have nocturnal seizures, and those who do not take their medications regularly. As a team, SUDEP is always spoken about with our patients and their families, and we offer advise to help gain good seizure control.”
Laura highlighted the following advice for those supporting children with epilepsy:
- Take anti-epileptic drugs daily as prescribed without missing a dose
- Discuss any issues surrounding medications with the epilepsy team, so changes can be made if needed
- Avoid any known triggers for epileptic seizures, common ones are missing medication doses, alcohol, lack of sleep, stress, and for some people photosensitivity
- Discuss other treatment options with the epilepsy team
- Use safety aids if they have been recommended by a health professional.
Laura added: “As a team we would strongly encourage anyone who has epilepsy and is having issues with seizure control to seek advice urgently from a medical professional. Or if you have recently had some possible seizures and haven’t seen a medical professional.”
To learn more, click here to see the official SUDEP Action Day website.