Accidents and injuries in patients with epilepsy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


People with pilepsy are thought to be at an increased risk of accidents and injuries. This results in stigmatization of patients with epilepsy and contributes to a number of limitations in their daily living activities. However, even with differing results, several observational studies (including a large multicenter European survey) report that most accidental injuries are minor and are mostly caused by an epileptogenic clinical condition, an associated handicap or the recurrence of seizures. Domestic, street and work accidents are, in decreasing order, the most common places for such injuries to occur. Contusions and wounds are the most common injuries, followed by abrasions, fractures, brain concussions, sprains/strains and burns. Associated handicaps and comorbidity, where present, as well as antiepileptic drugs, may cause accidents and injuries by impairing cognitive functions and increasing the patient's susceptibility to suffer from the complications of injuries. Patients with epilepsy are also at a slightly higher risk of accidental death than the general population; accidental causes include fires and flames, drowning, suffocation, foreign bodies, falls, suicide and transport accidents. When epileptogenic conditions and seizure-related events are excluded, patients with epilepsy are only at a slightly greater risk of accidents and injuries than the general population.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)291-298
Number of pages8
JournalExpert Review of Neurotherapeutics
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2009


  • Accident
  • Death
  • Epilepsy
  • Injury
  • Seizure

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Pharmacology (medical)
  • Neuroscience(all)


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