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J Contemp Med. 2014; 4(2): 59-63

Difficulty in Diagnosis; Epileptic Deaths

Riza Yilmaz, Sinem Akat, Sema Demircin, Bahadır Kumral, Serhat Gürpinar, Erbil Gozukirmizi, Ali Yildirim, Erdal Ozer.

People with epilepsy have an increased incidence of sudden unexpected death compared with the general population. Epilepsy is not a uniform clinical presentation and the ratio of premature mortality largely depends on the underlying etiologic factors. Mortality in cases with epilepsy can be classified as deaths attributable to epilepsy, pathological findings which the epileptic state could responsible and unrelated deaths with the epilepsy. Mortality as sudden unexpected death in epileptic patients (SUDEP), status epilepticus (SE), suicide, and accidents are considered to be epilepsy-related. In this study, we examined all files of the cases sent to the First Specialization Board of the Council of Forensic Medicine between the 2000 and 2005 for determination of the cause and the manner of death. The causes of deaths of 28 cases were re-evaluated according to the recent information. Of the 28 cases included in study 18 were male and 10 were female, the mean age was 29. As a result we have defined that 20 cases had died as SUDEP and four cases were SE (n=4). Remaining deaths were due to conditions possibly related to epileptic disease according to their previously recorded medical history and documents of postmortem examination and investigation. The aim of our study was to detect the reasons and mechanisms of death in persons with known epilepsy according to the autopsy findings, the medical documents and the situations in which death occurred.

Key words: epilepsy, death, forensic medicine.

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