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Unexplained deaths in epilepsy inspire SUDEP Action Day

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"SUDEP" stands for "Sudden Unexpected Death in Epilepsy."

ROCHESTER, Minn. - Sudden unexpected death in epilepsy, known as SUDEP, is a lethal medical problem that leaves many wondering what it's caused by.

The condition occurs in those who suffer from epilepsy and often times is onset by unexplained forces, resulting in a sudden death that has no clear cause following autopsies.

While the disease is nothing new, one man's experience this year led to a call to action of advancing understanding of the disease. 

Today was SUDEP Action Day, an initiative to help inform about and prevent sudden unexpected deaths caused by seizures.

David Schlobohm lost his daughter to SUDEP this spring, and now he's showing others what he's learned from it head on. 

What started as an idea for one informational billboard has expanded to many across Rochester, and today the graphics showcased SUDEP Action Day.

"I got the idea of doing a billboard around Rochester and it ended up being multiple locations," Schlobohm said. "It's a day to reach out to somebody, a family member that you might know that has epilepsy and tell them 'hey, do you know about this, do you know about your odds?" 

SUDEP Action Day encourages those who are epileptic or know someone with epilepsy to educate themselves about that they can do to mitigate risk levels through prevention like taking medication and avoiding known triggers.

To learn more about sudden unexpected death in epilepsy, visit the Epilepsy Foundation website.

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