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.