Wednesday, October 20th is SUDEP Action Day. For those in the epilepsy community, SUDEP, or Sudden Unexplained Death in Epilepsy, can be an uncomfortable topic of discussion. Some doctors have resisted speaking to epilepsy patients about SUDEP because they don’t want to cause anxiety or alarm for those with epilepsy and their families. However, the conversation about SUDEP is as necessary to have as it is difficult. Patients and their families can only make informed decisions about care and treatment options if they are given all of the information available, and there are informed choices that can be made to mitigate the risks of SUDEP.
On this episode of Seizing Life, we speak with former CURE Grantee and the Director of the Comprehensive Epilepsy Program at The Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto Dr. Elizabeth Donner about all aspects of SUDEP. Dr. Donner explains what SUDEP is, what we know and don’t know about it, how it can occur, who is most at risk, and, most importantly, what people with epilepsy and their families can do to lessen the risk of SUDEP occurring. Dr. Donner also shares some promising research that is being done to better understand this most tragic outcome of epilepsy. This episode provides thorough and thoughtful information aimed at providing those with epilepsy and their loved ones the knowledge to engage in open and constructive conversation about SUDEP with their healthcare provider.
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