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We disagree with Deonna that we should feel highly reassured about potential accidental injury in patients with absence seizures. Our data showed that injuries during an absence seizure occurred in a significant proportion of our patients with absence epilepsy: 20% of patients with childhood absence epilepsy, 40% with juvenile absence epilepsy, and 75% with juvenile myoclonic epilepsy. Since many patients with absence epilepsy are not always aware of each seizure, it is likely that these numbers are even higher.Although most injuries occurring during an absence seizure were mild, 13% of patients were admitted to the hospital with head injuries resulting from a motor vehicle crash. We also found a significantly higher incidence of bicycle accidents in our population. These data clearly show that absence seizures do occur with activities requiring a high level of vigilance, such as riding a bicycle or driving a car. Injuries that occur
Wirrell EC, Camfield PR, Camfield CS, Dooley JM, Gordon KE. Childhood Absence Epilepsy and Accidents-Reply. Arch Neurol. 1997;54(9):1063. doi:10.1001/archneur.1997.00550210007003