Hey friends!

You may not know the recently departed rapper Juice Wrld but your children do:


I was awakened to a notification this morning by Viral Hip Hop News to hear that Jerald Anthony Higgins, early this morning after a flight from California to Chicago’s Midway airport.

I was touched by Juice Wrld’s “Lucid Dreams,” done to Sting’s “State of My Heart,” while on a drive alone through the California desert last year to Ridgecrest Regional hospital’s ER o assignment, and thinking of how insightful this young man was.

Sudden unexpected death in epilepsy (SUDEP) is defined as when a person with epilepsy who is otherwise healthy dies usually during or right after a seizure, that does not involve a head injury or other accident, or even the seizure emergency known as status epilepticus, which is a single epileptic seizure lasting longer than 5 minutes, or having more than one seizure in a 5 minute period, without returning to a normal level of consciousness between the seizures.

There are a couple of theories on how a person can die from the seizure itself, one being an extended pausing in breathing causing a lack of oxygen going to the brain, and another being a fatal disturbance of the heart’s rhythm.  I will tell you from myh clinical experience that if one goes without oxygen long enough, which means minutes, both brain damage and slowing down of the heart (bradycardia) and stoppage (cardiac arrest) will happen.

Thankfully SUDEP is rare.  The CDC reports that 1.16 episodes of SUDEP happening per 1,000 people with epilepsy, and it is suspected that it is underreported.

What puts a person at risk for SUDEP?

  1. Having epilepsy starting at a young age
  2. Living longer with epilepsy
  3. Missing dose of anti-seizure medication
  4. Excessive alcohol consumption
  5. Seizures during sleep
  6. Frequent severe (tonic-clonic) seizures

Consider your family, friends and coworkers when considering these risk factors. Do you know anyone who is at risk?   This information will help you help them by reducing fear, and increasing your knowledge and readiness.

What can you do if someone has a seizure?

  1. Ease the person to the floor.
  2. Clear the area of people and hard/sharp objects.
  3. Don’t try to hold them down or stop the movements.
  4. Cushion their head with something soft and flat like a folded jacket.
  5. Loosen any constricting clothing like ties or necklaces.
  6. Put them on their side to help keep their airway clear.
  7. Do not put anything in their mouth, ,they cannot swallow their tongue.
  8. Check the time the seizure started to time the length.
  9. Gently clear the mouth of gum, saliva, or vomit with a finger.
  10. Check for a medical alert bracelet.
  11. Consider calling 911 , especially if
    1. The seizure is lasting more than 5 minutes.
    2. The person has no history of seizures
    3. Another seizure starts soon after the first one
    4. The person has health conditions like diabetes, heart disease or pregnancy
    5. Difficulty waking up or breathing occurs.
    6. The seizure happened in water.
  12. Do not offer any food or drink until the person is fully
  13. Make sure the person gets home to or to the hospital safely if 911 was not called.


I want this tragedy to be a lesson for all of us.  Now you will be more prepared if something like this occurs, and you might be able to save a life.    Share this information with your family, friends and coworkers, because the person whom might be saved is YOU.


Be safe, be Successful,

Dr. Kadisha

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