SUDEP Action

Making every epilepsy death count
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Seizures and Injury

Anything that affects consciousness, awareness or judgement can increase the risk of accidents and injury

When diagnosed with epilepsy your clinician will give you advice on what is recommended for things like driving, the use of dangerous machinery, working at height and general safety issues. Advice on how to avoid injury will vary from person to person and will consider the type and frequency of seizures, your age, the effect of medication, personal behaviour and any other health conditions you may have.

Take some time to consider your environment and lifestyle for possible risks. Identifying and planning to reduce risk will help you to live a full and active life, as safely as possible.

Talking to your clinician about your own plan to reduce risk and also talking to others with epilepsy may be helpful in making changes.

What can I do to reduce the risk of incidents or injury?

Seizures can lead to loss of awareness and falls, so accidents and injuries such as drowning, burns, bruises, cuts, fractures, suffocation, or pneumonia (if fluid is inhaled during a seizure) can occur.

Take time to assess your home, work and any leisure activities you do. Ask yourself:

  • What risks exist for anyone in this setting
  • What are the potential hazards if you have a seizure?
  • What actions can you take to reduce the risk of harm to yourself and others?

More information to help you assess your risks and identify how you can reduce them can be found here.