MODULE 3: Epilepsy Support and Non-medication Management 8 Status Epilepticus Status epilepticus is a series of continuous seizures that last over a period of time and may cause brain injury.17 In some people, status epilepticus is caused by something happening in the brain, such as a brain tumor or a brain infection. In other people, there is no known cause.17 Sudden Unexpected Death in Epilepsy (SUDEP) SUDEP is a sudden unexpected death related to epilepsy. It is not caused by drowning or another type of accident that could lead to death while having a seizure. SUDEP can happen with or without a seizure.18 SUDEP might be hard to talk about, but knowing that it could happen is an important part of prevention.18 Facts About SUDEP Here are some facts about SUDEP: • About 1 in 1000 adults with epilepsy die of SUDEP each year19 • Frequent seizures, especially generalized tonic-clonic seizures, are the greatest risk factor for SUDEP19 • Most common epilepsy-related cause of death that is not due to physical injury18 • Happens more often in people with epilepsy who could be treated with surgery18 • Among neurologic conditions, SUDEP ranks second, after stroke, in years of potential life lost18 Any seizure that causes muscle contractions and lasts more than 5 minutes should be considered a medical emergency, and someone should call 911.17