Risk factors for burns as a consequence of seizures in persons with epilepsy

Epilepsia. 1994 Jul-Aug;35(4):764-7. doi: 10.1111/j.1528-1157.1994.tb02508.x.


To explore the risk factors and circumstances for burns in a population of persons with epilepsy, we surveyed 244 University of Colorado Health Sciences Center Seizure Clinic patients. Twenty-five had at least one seizure-related burn requiring medical attention (12 were hospitalized), 21 reported burns requiring medical attention not related to seizure activity, and 199 reported no burns. All patients with seizure-related burns had alteration of consciousness during most seizures. Statistical models with logistic regression indicated that a useful model for assessing risk of seizure-related burns in this population of patients could be constructed using three significant variables; lifetime total number of seizures experienced by the patient, the presence of interictal neurologic impairment, and gender. The remainder of the variables studied (percentage of seizures that occurred nocturnally, percentage of seizures preceded by a simple partial seizure (SPS) warning, self-care status, number of seizures in adult life, seizure type, patient age, age of onset of seizure disorder, and presence of burns not associated with seizure) were either not significantly correlated with seizure-related burns or did not significantly improve the success of the statistical model in light of the other variables studied. Most injuries occurred in the home during activities that might have been avoided. They included 10 burns incurred while cooking, 5 incurred while showering (with a plumbing system that permitted exposure to scalding water), and 3 caused by exposed room heaters. A subset of epileptic patients are at increased risk for burns and should minimize situations in which they can be burned.

MeSH terms

  • Accident Prevention
  • Accidents, Home / statistics & numerical data
  • Activities of Daily Living
  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Age of Onset
  • Burns / epidemiology*
  • Burns / etiology
  • Comorbidity
  • Epilepsies, Partial / complications
  • Epilepsies, Partial / epidemiology
  • Epilepsy / complications*
  • Epilepsy / epidemiology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Logistic Models
  • Male
  • Risk Factors
  • Self Care
  • Sex Factors