They are designed to recognise that a seizure has occurred or that breathing has been disrupted, triggering an alarm so that assistance can be provided.
Because many epilepsy-related deaths occur overnight with people found lying face down there is speculation that this position may interfere with breathing and contribute to the deaths. However, the use of special pillows has not been proven to prevent death from suffocation or SUDEP. Some people advocate for the use of special pillows to allow better airflow around the face. But, using such a pillow cannot guarantee the safety of a person having nocturnal seizures. The use of such pillows is a personal choice.
For further information on specific forms of safety devices, please follow the links below:
- EpSMon - the free, award winning app for people with epilepsy
- The SUDEP and Seizure Safety Checklist, a free award winning tool for clinicians
- Medical ID cards or Jewellery
- Alarms & monitors
- Seizure alert dogs, Anti-suffocation pillows and protective headgear
- Long-term treatment options
Questions to ask your clinician:
Want to know more about the current research into epilepsy safety devices? See below: