Seizure-related death in children with epilepsy
Children with epilepsy have a significantly higher rate of death than the general population. The cause of premature death among epileptics is contributed by the underlying cause, coexisting neurologic compromise and the epilepsy itself. Mortality directly related to seizures in paediatric epilepsy is the subject of this review. Seizure-related deaths in epileptics arise from status epilepticus, aspiration pneumonia, as well as sudden and unexpected death in epilepsy (SUDEP). Epilepsy per se enhances the risks of accidents and suicide. Children with epilepsy who are otherwise neurologically intact and with normal neuroimaging findings have an exceedingly low risk of seizure-related death. Poor compliance to antiepileptic drugs (AED) , poor ly co nt rol led (intractable and refractory) seizures, impaired cognition, structural/ metabolic aetiology and antiepileptic drug polypharmacy tend to carry poor prognosis. Therefore, parents need to be appropriately advised about the risk of seizurerelated premature death. Early identification, compliance with AED prescription, and treatment of comorbid conditions can reduce mortality risk and improve health outcomes in children with epilepsy. Children with intractable types of epilepsy may benefit from medical marijuana and neurosurgery.
Keywords: Childhood epilepsy, seizure-related death, prevention