Our daughter Jane died from SUDEP & possibly from ours and her ignorance. Nearly half of all SUDEP deaths are avoidable. Stay Alive - Read On.

Monday, 2 April 2012

Prisoners At Added Risk of SUDEP

If this report of a prisoner in Addiewell Prison, Scotland is anything to go by then anyone with epilepsy is, whilst in prison at greater risk of death - almost by definition.  Not only that the probability of the incident being classified as SUDEP is probably a lot less.  And if that is the case for those epilepsy in the UK, where SUDEP is now being widely reported accurately (or so we hope), then in other countries, my guess is the situation is far worse.

Here we have a man who clearly died after an epileptic fit.  He was only intended to be in prison for three months, and yet he died just one month into his prison term.

He clearly had a history of epilepsy and clearly his medication was not properly documented.  If it is not documented what drugs he is prescribed then how on earth is it possible that the right drugs at an appropriate level were being given, never mind being ingested.  Thus since the primary protection of the correct drug regime is denied, albeit through ignorance the the risk of SUDEP related death must be significantly increased.

And thence what incentive is there for the prison authorities to classify the death as SUDEP?  Indeed to do so would imply some level of culpability which cannot be in their self-interest.  And from the report they certainly seemed to have cleared themselves of responsibility.

I do not blame the prison authorities for any intended cause of death.  But in my opinion they seem ignorant of the additional risks their prisoner was put at. Probably, like much of the rest of they assumed the worst case would be that he might have a few additional fits, and so what!  But he died and he died on their watch.

Any attempt to monitor his fits was expressly denied for fear of "false positives", thus, in my opinion directly increasing his risk of SUDEP.

From my position the above can only be a hypothesis, but if anyone can contradict it I would be interested to hear from them.

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