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11 February 2019

Monday 11 February is International Epilepsy Day

Today, Monday 11 February, is International Epilepsy Day. On this day every year, organisations in more than 120 countries across the world promote awareness of the problems faced by people with epilepsy, their families and carers. 

Epilepsy in the UK:

  • Affects around one in every 100 people.
  • Every day, 87 people are diagnosed with epilepsy.
  • Every year, 1,000 people die because of their epilepsy.
  • One in every 220 children will have a diagnosis of epilepsy.
  • On average, one child in every primary school, and five children in every secondary school will have a form of epilepsy

Roughly one in three children with epilepsy will not have their seizures adequately controlled by medications and should be evaluated as potential candidates for epilepsy surgery.

 Epilepsy surgery for children:

 Every year, around 340 children in England could benefit from epilepsy brain surgery to reduce or even completely stop seizures.

 UH Bristol is one of four Children's Epilepsy Surgery Service (CESS) centres in England and has an expert team of surgeons, doctors, nurses and specialist facilities working out of the Bristol Royal Hospital for Children.

 Speaking about International Epilepsy Day and the difference that CESS centres can make, Michael Carter, consultant paediatric neurosurgeon, said:

"There has never been a better time to be involved in epilepsy surgery for children. The service at Bristol children's hospital has expanded massively over the past five years and we now provide evaluations and epilepsy surgery for children from the South West, Oxford and Wessex regions and South Wales. It has become clear that many more children with seizures may be candidates for surgical intervention  than was thought likely when we were first designated as a specialist service in 2011. A high proportion of the cases we treat end up seizure free and many others experience very significant improvements in their seizure burden. High quality imaging of neurological function and the availability of inpatient rehabilitation services at Bristol children's hospital mean that we are increasingly considering complex interventions in children as young as six weeks and seeing some incredible outcomes."

For more information on International Epilepsy Day, visit the website

For more information on the CESS service and epilepsy surgery for children visit the Epilepsy Action website or the paediatric epilepsy surgery page on the UH Bristol website.