The risk of sudden unexpected death in epilepsy (SUDEP) is highest with nocturnal, unattended generalized convulsions, and basic resuscitation may be able to prevent SUDEP. This study investigates an under-mattress device (ElectroMechanical Film - Emfit®) which is triggered by rhythmic motor activity of a specifiable duration, frequency, and intensity using a quasi-piezoelectric material sensitive to changes in mattress pressure. The device was tested during inpatient video-EEG monitoring. Eighteen GTCSs were recorded, 10 out of wakefulness and 8 out of sleep. Sixteen of the 18 seizures (89%) resulted in Emfit® activation with both false negative alarms occurring during wakefulness. On average, the device was activated within 9 s of onset of bilateral clonic motor movements (range: -37 to +39 s) and occurred, on average, 45 s before seizure end (range: 19 to 76 s). Only 21 false alarms were encountered, all occurring during wakefulness (PPV: 43%). The data suggest that the Emfit® detection device has a high predictive value for generalized convulsions, offers caregivers a reliable and early warning to assist the patient during convulsions, and may be a novel way to prevent SUDEP.
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