risk assessment and epilepsy
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risk assessment and epilepsy

David O’Brien Community Nurse, Wrexham Learning Disability Health Team, North East Wales NHS Trust
Sam Loughran Lecturer/Practitioner, Halton Community Support Team for People with Learning Disabilities & Chester College of Nursing & Midwifery

Epilepsy is commonly found among people with learning disabilities and can pose significant risks in their everyday lives. It is the role of healthcare professionals to provide structured and sensible risk assessments without curtailing their lives too much. David O’Brien and Sam Loughran present a model of a multidisciplinary approach to risk assessment and a case study which shows how a balance can be struck

The primary aim of this article is to share a multidisciplinary model for risk assessment that has been developed by the authors. We will describe the process and argue the case for active, structured and sensible risk assessment for people with learning disabilities who have epilepsy. In addition the article will outline how this relatively small population often has refractory seizures, which can present with significant risks associated with their epilepsy (Loughran and O’Brien 2001a). Finally, using a case study, we discuss why formal risk assessment is a key role for professionals working with people with learning disabilities and epilepsy but often becomes limiting and suppressive.

Learning Disability Practice. 7, 3, 12-17. doi: 10.7748/ldp2004.

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