An ‘epilepsy passport’ for children has been created by the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health to improve communication between professionals and minimise the risk of hospital admission.
The passport is a document containing information on the child’s condition, which should be carried at all times in case of a seizure. The information in the document includes the type of seizures the child has, what medication they are receiving, any allergies to medicine, and who the clinicians leading their care are. This provides healthcare professionals with up-to-date and readily available information, which has the potential to prevent the child’s admission to hospital.
Dr Richard Appleton from the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health and clinical lead for the project, said: ‘Poor communication has been one of the most important and longest standing issues linked to poor epilepsy care and it may contribute to poor seizure control and hospital admissions. Approximately 5 to 10% of A&E and outpatient paediatric attendances per year will be seizure-related.'
The creation of the epilepsy passport was one of the major recommendations of the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health’s Child health review into epilepsy. While the epilepsy passport is currently designed for use by children with epilepsy and their families, it is hoped that the document will be rolled out for use in adult epilepsy services in the future.
Dr Appleton added: ‘With approximately 60,000 children suffering from epilepsy in the UK today and with epilepsy related-deaths one of the top 10 causes of death in the UK, this passport has the potential to be lifesaving. I would encourage and urge health professionals to work with families to complete their child’s passport and begin transforming epilepsy care.'