The daily educational pearl – SUDEP

Sudden Unexpected Death in Epilepsy (SUDEP)

= sudden death of a patient with epilepsy, as a result of unexplained respiratory failure or cardiac arrest after seizures – not to be confused with respiratory failure secondary to status epilepticus

Post mortem examination usually reveals no abnormalities.

– most common in young adults who have generalised tonic-clonic seizures (average age of those dying from SUDEP is 28–35 years)

– SUDEP very rarely occurs in children

The most important ‘risk factors’ seem to be poor seizure control and seizures occurring during sleep.

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