Minimising the risk of SUDEP

In the current absence of a proven SUDEP prevention method, the recommended approach is to attempt to keep modifiable contributory factors to a minimum.

As research indicates that SUDEP is largely a seizure-related phenomenon, optimisation of seizure control is highly important.  Recommendations to achieve this include:

·        seeking regular medical consultation to re-evaluate epilepsy diagnosis, review medication and the possibility of new treatments, discuss implications of lifestyle changes etc;

·        maintaining good adherence/compliance with medication regime;

·        identifying possible triggers for seizures and determining an effective strategy for keeping these to a minimum.  For example, maintaining regular and adequate sleep patterns or learning ways to better manage stress.

It is also prudent for family, friends and caregivers to be informed of what to do during and following a seizure.  This includes knowledge of the recovery position and cardiopulmonary resuscitation techniques.  In addition, the necessity of calling an ambulance if the seizure lasts for more than 5 minutes or repeats without full recovery, and of staying with a person for 15-20 minutes after the seizure to ensure that recovery continues.

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