Epilepsy passports issued to convey crucial information in emergencies
A new epilepsy passport has been created for about 60,000 children in the UK who have the the condition
A new epilepsy passport has been created for about 60,000 children in the UK who have the the condition.
Child health experts launched the passport to improve the sharing of information between young patients and their healthcare professionals.
Developed by the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health (RCPCH), the passport is designed to be carried by children with epilepsy to provide health staff with up-to-date information in the event of an emergency.
A lack of communication has been highlighted as a factor leading to poor epilepsy care and management.
The RCPCH and the RCN hope the passport will transform epilepsy care by making sure vital information is always available when the child is in contact with health staff.
The information includes details of the medications the patient receives, the type of seizures and epilepsy he or she has, and contact details for the clinicians leading his or her care.
RCN professional lead for children and young people’s nursing Fiona Smith says that the families of the children affected by epilepsy find living with the condition difficult.
‘The new epilepsy passport is a simple yet innovative solution to a common problem.’
‘Children with epilepsy often require impromptu care, and these passports allow them to seek help from any of the members of healthcare teams with ease and efficiency.’
RCPCH child health clinical lead for the project Richard Appleton says healthcare professionals who work with the families of children with epilepsy should help them to complete their children’s passports.
Bridge the gap
‘Our passport is a simple idea that will help bridge the gap between patients and medical and other professionals.’
‘It can give clinicians an immediate understanding of individual children’s epilepsy and treatments, as well as their health backgrounds, without the need for children or their parents to give this information themselves.
‘We hope that, with widespread use, the passports will help to reduce the 5 to 10% of unnecessary hospital attendances that are related to epilepsy.’
The passport was developed following the RCPCH’s 2013 child health review into epilepsy. It contains essential up-to-date information about a child’s or young person’s epilepsy, including their emergency care plan, medication history and key professional contacts.
The passport should be completed by the specialist epilepsy nurse or relevant medical consultant and updated whenever there are any changes to epilepsy management.