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SUDEP Action & RCGP launch SUDEP E-learning course for Health Professionals

SUDEP Action and the Royal College of General Practitioners have launched The SUDEP and Seizure Safety E-Learning course to help health professionals. The course is aimed at supporting GPs with their annual and routine reviews of people with epilepsy.  

Launched during National Epilepsy Week, the E-Learning is a free, 30-minute course that health professionals, students and trainees can access as part of their professional development. The course has been created alongside the College’s Epilepsy knowledge update and highlights the importance of risk management among patients with epilepsy and their health professionals. 

This course uses video and case studies to illustrate various points in the clinical management of patients with epilepsy. The course is authored by Professor Smithson who led the development of NICE guidelines following his role for the RCGP in the National Audit of Epilepsy Deaths in 2002 that found 42% of deaths could be avoided. It is co-authored by Jane Hanna OBE, CEO of SUDEP Action who led that report.

People with epilepsy are 24 times more likely to die early than people without the condition. The most common cause of death from epilepsy is Sudden Unexpected Death in Epilepsy (SUDEP). The SUDEP and Seizure E-Learning course uses e-technology to bring GPs knowledge to support flagging of risk in patients and also gives practical education on the aftermath of unexpected deaths when a practice will be caught up not only with the coronial system but also be the main point of initial contact with the bereaved family.

General Practice has an important role to work with people with epilepsy and their families to minimise the impact of the condition and the risk of death. This can be done by carrying out epilepsy reviews in primary care, by referring to other services where necessary, by signposting patients to resources and by liaising with the family after an epilepsy related death.

An editorial in the British Medical Journal last year highlighted that many deaths were in the community, and that many were in people who were not being seen but did have known risk factors and a deterioration in their condition before they died.

Jane Hanna from SUDEP Action commented:

“Bereaved families working with clinicians and researchers have driven our work to tackle epilepsy deaths, first defining the problem, championing research and surveillance, and now the development of safety tools and education to help professionals and families. GPs can help by giving 30 minutes to take this course on SUDEP and Seizure Safety“.