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SUDEP and Grief: Overview and Current Issues

Journal title
The Psychiatric quarterly
Publication year
Flannery, R. B., Jr.; Lomke, E.

The medical community and the general public are aware of sudden deaths in apparently healthy infants (SIDS) and in cases of cardiac arrest (SCD). However, there is a third, less-well known, form of sudden death that occurs in persons with epilepsy (SUDEP). This paper provides a detailed overview what is known about SUDEP, including the current important, unresolved issues being considered in the field (research, education, informed consent). This paper also includes an overview of the grieving process common to all three conditions. Again, the current issues being considered in the field of grieving are presented (major depression, posttraumatic stress disorder). It is written for physicians, including psychiatrists, and for the health community beyond neurologists and serves as a provider resource for persons with epilepsy, their families, and for the general public. This information about SUDEP and grief becomes also additionally important as national health care moves toward an interdisciplinary primary care model of service delivery.

Research abstracts