A new study from Canada has demonstrated the need for greater attention to be paid to the persistent issue of injuries arising from seizures among children with epilepsy.
Carried out by Dalhousie University and the IWK Health Centre in Nova Scotia, the study monitored patients with all types of epilepsy, except childhood absence, from the Nova Scotia Childhood Epilepsy population-based cohort.
The aim was to document the frequency, types and risk factors for injuries caused by seizures for people with childhood-onset epilepsy, with a total of 472 individuals who had experienced seizure onset between 1977 and 1985 contacted for the research.
According to results published in the medical journal Seizure, 11 per cent of those involved in the group experienced at least one serious injury during the follow-up period, for a total of 81 injuries.
These included 24 lacerations requiring sutures, 15 fractures, 11 broken teeth, eight concussions, four burns and 20 other injuries, including near-drownings, shoulder dislocations and severe eye injuries.
Incidents were shown to be more common in those with persistent or intractable epilepsy, while the long-term nature of the problem was also emphasised – only four injuries occurred with the first seizure, with all others taking place many years after seizure onset.
Moreover, the majority of the injuries occurred during normal daily activities and were judged not to be easily preventable, highlighting the need for better treatment approaches for people affected by childhood-onset epilepsy.
The researchers concluded: “During around 24 years of follow-up, one out of ten patients with childhood onset epilepsy had a serious injury as the result of a seizure. Most injuries occurred years after the initial diagnosis and were more common when seizures were more frequent. The only practical solution to injury prevention is better seizure control.”
Reposted from Epilepsy Research UK