SUDEP and Other Risks

In most cases, seizures end safely on their own, but sometimes more serious emergencies can arise. During seizures, injuries can occur such as bruises, cuts, broken bones, concussions, and head injuries. Risk of death is also higher in those with epilepsy because of the potential for accidents to occur during seizures; drowning, for example, is far more common in those with seizure disorders.

Sudden Unexpected Death in Epilepsy (SUDEP) occurs when someone dies unexpectedly without a known reason or seizure-related emergency. Rates of SUDEP are estimated at 1 in 1,000, however the risk increases in younger individuals (20-40 years of age). SUDEP is the leading cause of death in people whose seizures are not controlled.

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