Life-long history of injuries related to seizures

Miriam Y. Neufeld, Tali Vishne, Vladimir Chistik, Amos D. Korczyn

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111 Scopus citations


There is meager information in the literature regarding the characteristics and risk factors for injuries caused during epileptic seizures in adults. Previous studies focused mainly on specific types of injuries incurred, and only few explored associated risk factors. A questionnaire regarding lifetime seizures and their traumatic consequences was administered to 298 consecutive epileptic patients and their caretakers or relatives. Ninety-one of them (30%) have reported trauma: 185 events (age 39.8±18 years, 54 males), of which 61 were severe. This translates to one seizure-related injury every 21 patient-years, and a serious injury once every 64 patient-years. The most common site of injury was the head (55% of the events). Blunt injuries occurred most frequently (40%), followed by cuts (28%). Severe injuries included fractures and dislocations (17%), burns (6%), brain concussion (6%), subdural hematoma (3%) and intracerebral hematoma (1%). Most injuries occurred at home. The 91 patients with traumatic events were compared with the 207 epileptic patients without previous trauma (age 37.8±14.7 years, 112 males). Patients with seizure-related trauma had significantly earlier onset age of epilepsy. They more commonly had generalized from onset tonic-clonic, complex partial, myoclonic or absence seizures but fewer had partial seizures with secondary generalization. The risk of trauma was mostly related to seizure type (generalized tonic-clonic from onset and myoclonic seizures). This information may be helpful for better management of epileptic patients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)123-127
Number of pages5
JournalEpilepsy Research
Issue number2-3
StatePublished - 1 Apr 1999
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Supported by the Miriam Turjanski de Gold and Dr Roberto Gold Fund for neurological research, Argentina, and the Sieratzi Chair of Neurology, Tel Aviv University.


  • Epilepsy
  • Seizure
  • Seizure-related injury
  • Trauma


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