House approves bill to improve tracking of data on sudden deaths related to epilepsy

Published 12:30 pm Thursday, February 8, 2024

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By Sarah Ladd

Kentucky Lanter

A bill that could help Kentucky gather better data on sudden unexpected death of someone with epilepsy — called SUDEP — passed 95-0 out of the House on Tuesday. 

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House Bill 166 would require that autopsies determine, at a family member’s request, if a death is related to epilepsy and that the finding be included on the death certificate.  

Sponsor Rep. Jason Nemes, R-Middletown, told his House colleagues: “I would suspect that everyone in this chamber has heard of SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome), but few have heard of SUDEP.” 

“That means,” Nemes said, “their death is unwitnessed and visibly unexplained.” 

Co-sponsor Rep. Danny Bentley, R-Russell, called HB166 “a good bill” before voting in favor of it. “We need to have (a) more basic understanding.”