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The frequency and consequences of head injury in epileptic seizures.
  1. D L Russell-Jones,
  2. S D Shorvon
  1. Institute of Neurology, National Hospital for Nervous Diseases, Queen Square, London, UK.


    The frequency and sequelae of head injury in epileptic seizures were assessed. Two hundred and fifty five resident patients with chronic long term epilepsy (165M, 90F) of average age 54 years were studied for a year and 43 patients in a short term assessment unit (22M, 21F) of average age 26 years were studied for a month. A total of 27,934 seizures were recorded, of which 12,626 (45.2%) were associated with falls. There were 766 significant head injuries. Four hundred and twenty two required simple dressing and observation, and 341 required sutures (average number of sutures 4.5). There was one confirmed skull fracture, one confirmed extradural haemorrhage and one confirmed subdural haemorrhage. Thus 2.7% of all seizures resulted in a head injury (6.1% of seizures associated with falling). Simple dressing was required in 1.5%; 1.2% required sutures. Only one in every 9311 seizures (one in every 4208 seizures associated with falls) resulted in skull fracture, extradural or subdural haemorrhage. Minor seizure related head injury is therefore relatively common, while severe head injury is rare.

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