This week is Epilepsy Awareness Week so here are the key facts to be aware of:

  • Epilepsy is one of the most common neurological condition1 in 100 people in the UK have epilepsy
  • 1 in 20 people will have a one-off epileptic seizure at some point in their life
  • 1 in 50 people will experience epilepsy at some time in their life, though it may not last for the rest of their life
  • in 65% of epilepsy cases, the cause is unknown
  • Known causes include genetic conditions or brain damage from stroke, tumours, head injuries, infection, lack of oxygen, or drug/alcohol misuse.
  • there are 21 epilepsy related deaths every week
  • only 3% of people with epilepsy are affected by flashing or strobe lights
  • there are over 40 different types of seizure 
  • anyone can develop epilepsy at any age
  • knowing the early warning signs and the correct first aid first aid when a seizure occurs can make a major difference to those affected.

So what are the warning signs of a seizure? 

Seizures are unpredictable, but potential warning signs include:

  • Odd feelings, often indescribable
  • Unusual smells, tastes, or feelings
  • Unusual experiences – "out-of-body" sensations; feeling detached; body looks or feels different; situations or people look unexpectedly familiar or strange
  • Feeling spacey, fuzzy, or confused
  • Periods of forgetfulness or memory lapses
  • Daydreaming episodes
  • Jerking movements of an arm, leg, or body
  • Falling
  • Tingling, numbness, or feelings of electricity in part of the body
  • Headaches
  • Unexplained confusion, sleepiness, weakness
  • Losing control of urine or stool unexpectedly

What should you do if you think someone is having a seizure? 

1. Make sure they are safe.

2. Put them on their side.

3. Stay with them.

4. Follow their seizure plan if they have one you are aware of.

5. Call an ambulance if:

      (a) You know it is their first seizure or

      (b) The seizure continues for more than five minutes or

      (c) They are injured during the seizure or

      (d) You believe they need urgent medical attention.

If you or a loved one suffer from epilepsy or from another injury or condition that may have been the result or substandard medical treatment, please feel free to contact a member of our team for a free, informal discussion on 01865 781000 for a free initial discussion, or email catherine.bell@freeths.co.uk

Although we are, for the time being, not able to meet clients in person, our specialist clinical negligence team at Freeths is here to support and advise clients. We are available for meetings and consultations via telephone, email, FaceTime, WhatsApp, Skype and any other digital platform that works for you.

Nationally, the Freeths Clinical Negligence Department is led by:

Carolyn Lowe, Partner (Oxford/Milton Keynes/London) on 0186 578 1019, carolyn.lowe@freeths.co.uk

Karen Reynolds, Partner (Derby/Stoke on Trent/Birmingham) on 0845 272 5677, karen.reynolds@freeths.co.uk

Jane Williams, Partner (Leicester/Nottingham) on 0845 272 5724, jane.williams@freeths.co.uk