Coordinating Epilepsy Care: a UK-wide review of healthcare in cases of mortality and prolonged seizures in children and young people with epilepsies

Each year over 5,000 children and young people die in the UK. Of the  4,061  child  death  reviews completed in England in 2010/11, 800 (20%) had factors that, if modified, would help in preventing future deaths. This mirrors findings from other studies suggesting that as many as a quarter of all child deaths in high income countries are potentially avoidable. In spite of significant reductions in child mortality over the past decades, mortality rates for children and young people in the UK are still higher than many western European countries. It has been argued that the care provided in the UK is not to the standard of our European counterparts and that this is compounded by regional variation in care and socio-economic inequalities.  The majority of these deaths are from natural or medical causes including perinatal and congenital conditions, as well as a range of acquired natural causes in particular neurological, respiratory and cardiovascular disorders, infections and cancers.