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  • Q&A with Australian Health Practitioners

    Is epilepsy life threatening?

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    Established in 1952, Epilepsy Action Australia provides education and support for people with epilepsy, their families and community, and professional groups. These services promote self-management … View Profile

    Epilepsy is like an asthma attack, it does carry some risk of death.  Most people with epilepsy will not die from their epilepsy or from having a seizure. It is true that it is possible to die as a direct result of epilepsy, but the risk is very small. Like other conditions, a good understanding of epilepsy and good management of seizures reduces this risk.
    Death from epilepsy or seizures is often related to:

    • An underlying brain disease, such as a tumour or infection.
    • Seizures in dangerous circumstances, leading to drowning, burns or head injury.
    • Prolonged or ongoing seizures (Status epilepticus).
    • Sudden and unexplained causes (SUDEP).
    • The person stops breathing during or after a seizure.
    • Suicide.

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