Journal Mobile

AM Pirie
Journal Issue: 
Volume 35: Issue 3: 2005




Epilepsy is a domestically intrusive disease which is socially concealed, affects  all  social  classes  and  ethnic  groups, and  is  common  in  women  of  child-bearing age.  Excellence in care during pregnancy produces significant benefits for these  mothers  and  their  families.    There  were  13  maternal  deaths  due  to suboptimal  management  of  epilepsy  in  pregnancy  in  the  latest  report  of  the Confidential  Enquiry  into  Maternal  Deaths  in  the  UK.  One additional death was classified as a head injury but occurred following a seizure. Correct diagnosis, classification and investigation of epilepsy, contraception advice, preconceptual  counselling, use  of  safest  monotherapy, close  monitoring  of  drug side-effects and efficacy in pregnancy, screening for fetal anomalies, high dose folic acid  and  vitamin  K,  seizure  prevention  in  labour,  and  supportive  advice  for parenting are the mainstays of good maternal medicine.