SUDEP Action

Making every epilepsy death count
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SUDEP and Seizure Safety Checklist


The Aim of the SUDEP and Seizure Safety Checklist

The Checklist is a practical, evidence-based tool that is quickly completed in the clinic. It promotes meaningful communication, provides a baseline to compare changes in risk factors over time, and supports prioritisation of clinical activity. 

This ten minute risk assessment tool:

  • assists clinicians to open a positive discussion with people about epilepsy and risk assessment;
  • supports a person-centred discussion of risk, focusing on whether known risk factors apply to a particular patient;
  • helps clinicians educate people with epilepsy about their personal risk and possible lifestyle changes which might reduce those risks;
  • promotes the goal of patient safety by identifying modifiable risk factors which may  guide treatment;
  • creates documentary evidence for clinicians on the impact of the treatment plan over time, and demonstrates effective  clinical governance while enhancing patient safety;
  • provides some assurance to bereaved families that every effort was made to reduce risk and prevent a fatality when a death occurs.

How it Works

The Checklist is an Excel spreadsheet listing the factors of interest with drop down boxes for the responses to each factor.

An initial risk assessment is conducted with the patient during their first consultation  to provide an individual baseline risk rating.

The Checklist can be repeated at the annual review, when the patient with unstable epilepsy or identified high risk returns for a follow up, or when there is a change of treatment.

Epilepsy clinicians have found the tool simple and quick to use (5-10 minutes in clinic).

The assessment can be filed in the patient’s medical history. 


The below video demonstrates the Checklist being used in a clinical setting. This may be helpful as a guide to using the Checklist in your own practice.

The SUDEP and Seizure Safety Checklist is developed from research with adults and adult services to support communication with adult patients. A Checklist for children is planned. In the meantime to meet the demand from paediatric transition services we are making the adult Checklist available as an aid to clinical practice for over 16's.This is with the proviso that the Checklist is an aid and not a substitute for clinical judgement and that in particular the lay prompts that are suggested on the questions on alcohol and recreational drugs may need adjustment for this group.  


For more information about the development process of the SUDEP and Seizure Safety Checklist please see the recent BMJ quality improvement report: Here.

More Information

PDF iconThe Checklist - Introduction for Clinicians


See also EpSMon, the epilepsy self-monitor app for people with epilepsy. A prize winning app to help patients self-manage their condition in between medical appointments. 


Health professionals in the UK who are interested in using the Checklist may request a copy by providing the information below. Registration allows us to ensure that users receive any updates to the Checklist as a result of future research.

Please note you will not automatically receive the Checklist by registering below. All registrations are individually processed so it may take a few days to receive a response, we thank you for your patience in this. If you have not heard from us within 7 days, please check your junk messages first and then contact the SUDEP Action office.  If you have previously completed the registration process but have not received the Checklist, please check your junk emails & contact 

Non UK health professionals may still receive further information about the SUDEP and Seizure Safety Check List.