Letters

Misdiagnosis of epilepsy

BMJ 2002; 324 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.324.7347.1219 (Published 18 May 2002) Cite this as: BMJ 2002;324:1219

Epilepsy care is deficient for both patients and doctors

  1. Richard Morton, consultant paediatrician
  1. Children's Hospital, Derby DE22 3NE
  2. Royal Liverpool Children's NHS Trust, Roald Dahl EEG Unit, Alder Hey, Liverpool L12 2AP

    EDITOR—In their editorial on the misdiagnosis of epilepsy Chadwick and Smith seem to have missed the point.1 The diagnosis of epilepsy is often difficult and mistakes are often made (by specialists and non-specialists), so an improvement in epilepsy services is imperative.

    As the editorial says, there are only a derisory 62 paediatric neurologists in the United Kingdom; even at the maximal rate of recruitment to this specialty it will be at least 15 years before an appreciable proportion of children with epilepsy have an opportunity of meeting such a specialist, let alone being treated by him or her on a continuing basis.

    The most important improvement in epilepsy services will therefore come from better training for general paediatricians and physicians, together with more effective ways in which they can share their difficult cases with specialist neurologists, who are usually …

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