In the last Parliament, I highlighted the tragic case of Jessica Monks, who died as a result of complications arising from her epilepsy. I have since taken a closer interest in this condition.
This is National Epilepsy Week. It marks the launch of SUDEP Action’s ‘Stay Safe’ campaign. This campaign focuses on raising awareness of the risks associated with epilepsy and providing people experiencing seizures, their families and Health Professionals with the tools to monitor and take steps to lower their risks.
The Epilepsy risk self-monitoring mobile app ‘EpSMon’ is designed for adults who experience seizures. For those with epilepsy, regular reviews with a GP are recommended however this can sometimes mean a check-up once a year. SUDEP Action’s app EpSMon supports the user to assess their risk every three months, by alerting the user when they report a new risk, or the worsening of an existing risk factor, and prompting them to seek advice from their GP.
SUDEP Action point to a recent editorial in the British Medical Journal that highlights premature mortality in epilepsy and assert that the best protection against this is action towards improving known risk factors.
The charity are also launching the SUDEP and Seizure Safety Check List. This check list can be quickly completed in clinic by doctors and patients experiencing seizures to assess their current level of risk. This tool can help doctors to prioritise their time with such patients and provides data on their current level of risk that can be easily compared across appointments to assess any changes.
The Check List will be available for Health Professionals to download from www.sudep.org.