SUDEP Program


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.

  • 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. If you’d like more information about these services, please email
  • Works together with other epilepsy organizations to find the answers to SUDEP and help families with epilepsy.
  • 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
  • Researchers

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 to learn more about the SUDEP Program and how you and your organization can help us prevent epilepsy mortality.

Authored By:

Epilepsy Foundation SUDEP Program

on Saturday, February 08, 2020

Reviewed By:

Alison Kukla MPH

on Friday, April 01, 2022


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