Annals of Tropical Medicine and Public Health
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Year : 2012  |  Volume : 5  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 340-343

Seizure related injuries among outpatients in two tertiary hospitals in South East Nigeria

1 Department of Medicine, Neurology Unit, University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital, Enugu, Nigeria
2 Department of Community Psychiatry, Federal Neuropsychiatric Hospital, Enugu, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
Ezeala-Adikaibe A Birinus
Neurology Unit, Department of Medicine University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital, Enugu
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/1755-6783.102047

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Introduction: Epilepsy is the most prevalent and serious neurological disorder occurring in the community. The large treatment gap in developing countries places a lot of patients at risk of severe seizure-related injuries and death. Accurate data on the prevalence and pattern of epilepsy-related injuries does not exist in south-east Nigeria. Aims: To determine the prevalence and pattern of seizure-related injuries in patients with epilepsy attending the neurology clinics. Setting: Neurology clinic of 2 urban referral centers in south-east Nigeria. Design: Questionnaire-based cross-sectional study. Materials and Methods: All patients above 18 years with active epilepsy were included and were interviewed. Injuries included in the study were those directly related to seizures or of unknown cause but suspected to be due to seizures. Injuries that patients believed were of a non-seizure related etiology were excluded. Data was analyzed using SPSS v 17. Results: 86(98.9%) patients reported a history of injury related to seizures; 28 (32.1%) patients had moderate to severe injuries while 59(67.8%) patients had only minor injuries. Loss of teeth and injury to the head were the commonest forms of injury (10.3 and 9.1% respectively). There was a slightly higher rate of serious injuries in women and in patients above 45 years. Conclusion: Severe body injuries are common in outpatients with active epilepsy. Loss of tooth and head injuries were the most common forms of severe injuries encountered. Adequate treatment and precautions are needed to prevent seizure-related injury from impacting negatively on the quality of their lives.

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