SUDEP is the sudden, unexpected death of someone with epilepsy, who was otherwise healthy. In SUDEP cases, no other cause of death is found when an autopsy is done. Each year, more than 1 out of 1,000 people with epilepsy die from SUDEP. If seizures are uncontrolled, the risk of SUDEP increases to more than 1 out of 150. These sudden deaths are rare in children, but are the leading cause of death in young adults with uncontrolled seizures.
When people with epilepsy and their caregivers are empowered with information to understand SUDEP, they can take action to reduce risk of harm. To respond to this urgency, raise awareness, and promote steps that can help prevent SUDEP, the Epilepsy Foundation’s SUDEP Institute has issued this Epilepsy.com Special Report and launched a dedicated #AimForZero hashtag to facilitate greater discussion of SUDEP.