Epilepsy-related deaths

    It can be scary to think about the risk of death because of epilepsy. By knowing that the risk exists, you can take positive action to keep the risk as low a possible.

    Fast facts



    SUDEP is rare, but for some people the risk is higher.

    Dad hugging his son

    The risk of SUDEP is higher for people who:

    1. 1
      Have frequent tonic-clonic seizures
    2. 2
      Have seizures when sleeping
    3. 3
      Are not taking their epilepsy medicine as prescribed
    4. 4
      Have seizures when they are on their own

    1 in 1,000 adults with epilepsy die from SUDEP each year

    Top tips for reducing the risk

    Looking for help right now?

    These services can be contacted 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.


    Call 116 123

    Whatever you’re going through, the Samaritans can be contacted for free at anytime.


    Text SHOUT to 85258

    Shout is a free 24/7 text service for anyone in crisis anytime, anywhere.

    Do something

    Have you ever talked to your epilepsy doctor or nurse about SUDEP?

    If not, why not talk to them at your next appointment about your level of risk and anything you can do to reduce the risk.

    Young man at a GP appointment

    More info

    There is more about epilepsy-related deaths and SUDEP on the Epilepsy Action website

    Epilepsy Action website

    For more on keeping safe see the page about Safety


    For info on coping with low mood and depression see the emotions and wellbeing section

    Emotions and wellbeing
    Updated 12 May 2020
    Review 12 May 2023
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