SUDEP Action

Making every epilepsy death count
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Seizure-alert dogs, anti suffocation pillows and protective headgear

Seizure alert Dogs

We know that being with someone during a seizure may give you additional protection. Some people with epilepsy use seizure alert devices. Some choose to have a seizure dog.
There is only limited research on the benefits of seizure-alert dogs, but they are worth discussing in relation to your own personal circumstances.
Your clinician will be best placed to talk to you about benefits and disadvantages of this. 


Anti-suffocation pillows

Because many epilepsy-related deaths occur overnight with people found lying face down there is speculation that this position may interfere with breathing and contribute to the deaths. Some people therefore advocate for the use of special pillows to allow better airflow around the face.

However, the use of special pillows has not been proven to prevent death from suffocation or SUDEP.
Using such a pillow cannot guarantee the safety of a person having nocturnal seizures. The use of such pillows is a personal choice.


Protective headgear

Protective headgear can be helpful in preventing injury for people with uncontrolled and unpredictable seizures. If you are considering this type of safety device, speak to your clinician.

These questions may be helpful in speaking to your clinician:

PDF icon Safety devices questions to ask