34. Accidents in Epilepsy

  1. John W. Miller MD, PhD Director, UW Regional Epilepsy Center, Professor of Neurology and Neurological Surgery2 and
  2. Howard P. Goodkin MD, PhD The Shure Professor of Neurology and Pediatrics, Director, Division of Pediatric Neurology3
  1. Allan Krumholz and
  2. Ana M. Sanchez

Published Online: 10 JAN 2014

DOI: 10.1002/9781118456989.ch34



How to Cite

Krumholz, A. and Sanchez, A. M. (2014) Accidents in Epilepsy, in Epilepsy (eds J. W. Miller and H. P. Goodkin), John Wiley & Sons, Oxford. doi: 10.1002/9781118456989.ch34

Editor Information

  1. 2

    University of Washington, Seattle, WA, USA

  2. 3

    Department of Neurology, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA, USA

Author Information

  1. Department of Neurology, Maryland Epilepsy Center, University of Maryland Medical Center, University of Maryland School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD, USA

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 10 JAN 2014
  2. Published Print: 14 FEB 2014

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9781118456941

Online ISBN: 9781118456989



  • accident;
  • injury;
  • burns;
  • falls;
  • fractures;
  • trauma;
  • helmets;
  • drowning;
  • driving;
  • employment


Accidents are major concerns for individuals with epilepsy, their families, and physicians and affect key life activities such as sports, employment, and driving. Knowledge of the risks of seizure accidents aids in properly managing patients with epilepsy and determining appropriate protective measures and restrictions.

Higher accident rates are noted when seizures are poorly controlled or convulsive. Seizure severity is associated with increased risk for specific types of injuries, such as burns, head injuries, dental injuries, and fractures. Other types of accidents pose even greater risk, including water accidents or drowning and automobile driving crashes. A key to promoting safety is optimal control of seizures. Understanding seizure-related accidents will help health-care providers, patients, and their families achieve a proper balance between protection from the risks of epilepsy and promotion of the welfare of individuals with epilepsy by encouraging their optimal participation in society.