On 23 October, SUDEP Action Day, Epilepsy Action Australia welcome the launch of the SUDEP & Seizure Safety Checklist to health professionals in Australia.
In collaboration with SUDEP Action, this launch will see this Checklist be the first free clinical tool available across Australia, to support health professionals discuss and monitor risk factors with their epilepsy patients.
With epilepsy affecting approximately 250,000 Australians, Epilepsy Action Australia and SUDEP Action have been working in partnership since 2017, to help improve the knowledge and awareness of mortality risks in patients, as well as those professionals that treat them. First by sharing essential epilepsy risk information, and now with the SUDEP & Seizure Safety Checklist.
SUDEP Action has always welcomed collaborations with organisations in the UK and across the globe, to support increasing awareness of epilepsy risks and mortality. However, this is the first formal collaboration in Australasia to join forces to tackle these issues using existing resources and knowledge.
SUDEP Action CEO, Jane Hanna OBE added that, “We are thrilled to be showing how this UK and Australian partnership, now in its third year, has brought value to the SUDEP and Seizure Safety Checklist and to the people who use it. It’s through this strong shared motivation to work together, we will hopefully avoid many sudden, and preventable deaths.”
This is echoed by Dr Rohit Shankar MBE, the Clinical lead for the Checklist who commented “The Checklist has had unconditional support by the research, clinical and patient communities, and most of all, the bereaved families seeking to make a difference. The Checklist stands testimony to how structured person-centred holistic communication can be a powerful intervention, to prevent the dreadful outcome of death due to epilepsy and is a vanguard tool in our fight against epilepsy mortality. “
The SUDEP & Seizure Safety Checklist was originally developed in Cornwall (UK) as a collaboration between SUDEP Action and Cornwall Partnership NHS Foundation Trust in 2015, and is supported by leading experts.
As well as supporting improved communication and management of epilepsy risks alongside general wellbeing, the Checklist also provides the latest research on epilepsy risks to clinicians, boosting their own professional education. Research findings have already shown that these discussions are potentially lifesaving.
Epilepsy Action Australia is the largest provider of services to people living with epilepsy. CEO Carol Ireland, commented, “The award-winning SUDEP & Seizure Safety Checklist is a tool for clinicians to support conversations on epilepsy risks and SUDEP, helping to monitor their patient’s overall wellbeing and changes in risk factors. We are also encouraging patients to alert their clinicians about the Checklist, as going through it can provide them with more knowledge around seizure risk management and hopefully some peace of mind. This is such a positive progression.”
The Checklist has already won numerous awards and is used by over 750 UK clinicians. Most recently, at the British Medical Journal (BMJ) Awards 2019 receiving high commendations from the judging panel, on not only the Checklist, but also the patient-facing safety app, EpSMon, as being “both original and ground-breaking and will have a major impact in improving care for patients and their families.”