Reviews PERSONAL VIEW

Who should take care of children with epilepsy?

BMJ 2003; 327 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.327.7428.1413 (Published 11 December 2003) Cite this as: BMJ 2003;327:1413
  1. R N Chinthapalli, consultant paediatrician ([email protected])
  1. Great Western Hospital, Swindon

    One important question in the current debate in the United Kingdom about the care of children with epilepsy is who should take the lead role: the neurologist, the general paediatrician, or the paediatrician who has a special interest in epilepsy? The diagnosis of epilepsy in children is often difficult. About 30% of cases are misdiagnosed. In a similar proportion of cases children receive inappropriate drugs. About 42% of all sudden unexpected deaths among young people with epilepsy are reported to be avoidable. This is attributed to the lack of specialists. Currently the United Kingdom has fewer than 75 child neurologists, all of whom are based in tertiary centres. In 2002 the British Paediatric Neurology Association recommended that neurologists should carry out all paediatric neurology work. This goal remains unachievable at present.

    42% of all sudden unexpected deaths among young people with epilepsy are …

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