The month of October is Sudden Unexpected Death in Epilepsy (SUDEP) Action Month, bringing awareness and attention to this complication of Epilepsy. One in 150 persons with uncontrolled seizures die each year for from SUDEP.
While the exact cause for SUDEP is unknown, there are measures you can take to mitigate the risk and onset of SUDEP.
First, let’s discuss who’s at risk:
- The greatest risk factor for SUDEP is a long duration of epilepsy history
- Uncontrolled generalized convulsions
- Missing medications or not taking seizure medicines as prescribed, because it can lead to more seizures, may also put people at higher risk for SUDEP
Steps that can be taken to reduce the risk of SUDEP:
- Get the best seizure control possible, by doing things like:
- Taking medications as prescribed
- Striving for the best seizure control
- Avoid known seizure triggers
- Train adults in the house in seizure first aid
- Take extra precautions around water, including swimming and bathing
- Talk with your physician or care team about ways to control your seizures and mitigate your SUDEP risk
Click on the infographic to download as a pdf.
Epilepsy Care at Mayo Clinic
An epilepsy diagnosis can change your life. But at Mayo Clinic, we’re working to minimize the frequency and intensity of seizures, so you can lead a more vibrant life. Our state-of-the-art research and laboratory facilities are continually seeking new discoveries and innovations to treat epilepsy. Our care teams tailor treatment to your unique case, and seek the best possible outcome for you and your family. Learn more about how Mayo Clinic’s epilepsy experts can help reduce your risk of SUDEP at mayoclinic.org/epilepsy.