October 21, 2020

Seizure-Related Injuries in Inadequately Treated Epilepsy Patients: A Case-Control Study

Abstract, originally published in Seizure

Purpose: To compare epilepsy-related injuries in untreated or inadequately treated patients and patients on adequate treatment.

Methods: In a cross-sectional case-control study, seizure-related injuries in patients who were either on no treatment or inadequate treatment were compared with another group of patients receiving appropriate evidence-based epilepsy treatment. The inadequately treated patients or ‘cases’ were drawn from an outreach epilepsy clinic while the adequately treated patients or ‘controls’ were recruited from a tertiary care facility providing comprehensive epilepsy management.

Results: The odds of injury were eight times higher in inadequately treated patients or cases compared to the adequately treated patients or controls. After adjusting for gender, epilepsy duration, seizure frequency, current medication, and number of AEDs, the odds of injury were 15. 8 times higher in the cases. Major injuries such as burns, fractures, and tooth injuries were also higher in the cases.

Conclusion: Untreated or inadequately treated epilepsy patients have a significantly higher risk of injuries. With adequate treatment, some of the risks of injury can be mitigated.