What is SUDEP?
Sudden unexpected death in epilepsy (SUDEP) is said to occur when a person with epilepsy dies unexpectedly and was previously in their usual state of health. The death is not known to be related to an accident or seizure emergency such as status epilepticus. When an autopsy is done, no other of cause of death can be found. Each year, more than 1 out of 1,000 people with epilepsy die from SUDEP. However, it occurs more frequently in people with epilepsy whose seizures are poorly controlled.
The Epilepsy Foundation’s SUDEP program works to prevent SUDEP and support people bereaved by SUDEP and other epilepsy-related deaths.
What does the SUDEP program do?
- Carries out SUDEP education and awareness for people impacted by epilepsy and medical professionals
- Drives and supports research into the causes of and ways to prevent SUDEP
- Offers bereavement support services and an online community for those affected by SUDEP
- Works together with other epilepsy organizations to find the answers to SUDEP and help families with epilepsy
Why did the Epilepsy Foundation create the SUDEP program?
Everyone is aware of the dangers of fire and sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). Yet each year, SUDEP kills more Americans than either of these. The Epilepsy Foundation understands and places a priority on the importance of educating and supporting everyone affected by epilepsy, including those who have lost.
Sadly, many people living with epilepsy have never heard of SUDEP. While research shows people with epilepsy say they want more information on SUDEP, many medical professionals rarely talk about it. The SUDEP program was formed in 2013 to drive awareness and education among those living with epilepsy, their caregivers, physicians, medical examiners and the public. We believe that by building awareness and working together, we can prevent SUDEP.
Who can benefit from the work of the SUDEP program?
- Individuals and families living with epilepsy
- Families whose loved one has died due to epilepsy
- Epilepsy specialists, neurologists, primary care physicians, and nurses
- Coroners, medical examiners, and first responders
Who is involved with the SUDEP program?
The Epilepsy Foundation SUDEP program works with leading epilepsy organizations to promote information sharing and facilitate coordination and collaboration. We believe that by working together we can more quickly raise awareness, drive research and promote prevention. The SUDEP program is transparent in its efforts and is eager to share materials and knowledge that advance the field. Our current partners include American Epilepsy Society, CDC, CURE, Danny Did Foundation, NIH/NINDS, North American SUDEP Registry, SUDEP Aware, SUDEP Action, epilepsy experts and many other epilepsy organizations worldwide.
Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more about the SUDEP Program and how you and your organization can help us prevent epilepsy mortality.
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