• The Role of Seizure Alert Devices
  • Get Ready for Purple Day
  • Tell us Your Story
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The Role for Seizure Alert Devices 

The Role for Seizure Alert Devices                                                 January 2017
by Dr. Anita Datta, MD, FRCPC
Epilepsy is unpredictable and therefore many people with epilepsy and their caregivers experience constant fear of when a seizure will occur. Overall quality of life is impacted. During a seizure a person is generally unaware and unable to call for help. Many people with epilepsy or their caregivers keep seizure diaries, but there is a difference between recording and detecting seizures.
How could a seizure alert device help?
A seizure alert device may help notify others if a seizure happens and could be of practical benefit for the seizure management. The devices can notify nearby family or caregivers when a seizure occurs through alarms, phone calls or text alerts, depending on the device. A caregiver can then help the person during and after the seizure. For example, they can help reposition the person, making sure they are on their side if they are not conscious. If breathing or other problems occur, they can call for medical help. Additionally, this type of device could alleviate some of the concern and fear associated with the constant risk of recurrent seizures by giving an opportunity for intervention, including first aid and medication administration.
Accidents and injuries are more frequent in people with epilepsy compared with the general population, and the majority of accidents occur at home. Convulsive seizures in particular are a risk factor for both seizure-related injuries and sudden unexplained death in epilepsy (SUDEP).  A device to detect seizures, both during sleep and wakefulness, may be able to help reduce the risk of injury and possibly SUDEP. This could also allow the person to be more independent because the parent or caregiver would not need to keep him or her under constant surveillance because of a concern the person may have a seizure.
What types of seizure alert devices are currently available?
The seizure alert devices available at present are motion detection devices. There are currently 3 types of devices readily available:

  1. Mattress devices/movement sensors
  2. Watch devices/accelerometers
  3. Camera/video/infrared devices

In addition,
     4.   Seizure alert dogs are frequently used to detect seizures

For more information, please see the full article at

Purple Day: Raising Epilepsy Awareness 

March 26th is Purple Day - a day dedicated to increasing awareness about epilepsy. People in countries around the world wear purple and host events in support of epilepsy awareness. March is also Epilepsy Awareness Month in Canada – so you don’t have to limit your activities to just Purple Day!
In celebration of Epilepsy Awareness Month and Purple Day, the BC Epilepsy Society is working with people from communities throughout the province to help organize events and fundraisers.

How can you get involved?
  • Wear purple!
  • Host events and activities in support of epilepsy awareness
  • Distribute materials about Purple Day and epilepsy in your community
  • Set up a display, information booth or presentation
  • Host a fundraiser, have a purple-themed bake sale, or hold a purple clothing contest at a school or work
  • Call us for more ideas
If you would like to host or participate in a Purple Day or Epilepsy Awareness Month event, we can help you! The BC Epilepsy Society has free epilepsy awareness and educational materials available. This includes information sheets, posters, ribbons, stickers, seizure first aid cards, and bracelets. To order any of these and for more information please contact our office at 604-875-6704 (Ext. 11) or at

Tell us Your Story 

One of the goals of the BC Epilepsy Society is helping people connect with our epilepsy community. We find that by sharing our unique journeys, we find others who have more in common with us than we expected. If you would like to share your story, please call 604-875-6704 ext 11 or email

Our mailing address is:
BC Epilepsy Society
2500 - 900 West 8th Avenue
Vancouver, BC V5Z 1E5

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