Epilepsy is one of the UK’s most common serious brain disorders. Up to 20% of people with Epilepsy visit Hospital emergency departments each year with over half of these people attending multiple times. National Audits of Seizure Management in Hospitals show that many people who attend emergency departments have done so unnecessarily. This is because most have existing epilepsy and have experienced an uncomplicated seizure. Whilst this is frightening for the person, these types of seizures can be managed without medical attention by friends or family.
There is currently no first aid training available for people with epilepsy who attend emergency departments on a regular basis. This leads to some individuals with epilepsy attending emergency departments unnecessarily and not needing medical attention. First aid training for these people could potentially reduce the amount of visits to emergency departments. These visits are expensive and can also be inconvenient for patients.
The aim of the SAFE study was to develop seizure first aid training and then see if it was feasible to conduct a larger study to test if this training works. The SAFE study recruited health professionals and service user to develop the first aid course, called ‘Seizure first Aid training For Epilepsy’ (SAFE). In the second part of the study participants were recruited from 3 Hospitals in the UK and randomly assigned to receive usual care or usual care plus first aid training. Participants took part in the study for 12 months and completed questionnaires at 3, 6 and 12 months following randomisation.
The SAFE study has completed recruitment and follow-up and analysis is underway
- Noble, A. J., Marson, A. G., Tudur-Smith, C., Morgan, M., Hughes, D. A., Goodacre, S., & Ridsdale, L. (2015). 'Seizure First Aid Training' for people with epilepsy who attend emergency departments, and their family and friends: study protocol for intervention development and a pilot randomised controlled trial. BMJ OPEN, 5(7).