Young Epilepsy and Viropharma Launch Educational Campaign for the Steps in Rescue Management for Children with Epilepsy

GLASGOW, Scotland, September 6, 2013 /PRNewswire/ --

On the second day of the British International League Against Epilepsy Congress in Glasgow, Young Epilepsy announces the launch of a new educational campaign aimed at supporting parents and carers of children with epilepsy. The campaign will raise awareness of good practice in implementing rescue management of prolonged, acute, convulsive seizures in children, with the aim of reducing the risk of progression to status epilepticus and its associated risks which can include brain damage.[1]

Steps in rescue management for children with epilepsy:

1. Note the time when the seizure started

2. Clear the area to allow the child to move freely and safely

3. Administer rescue medication according to the child's emergency protocol (usually after 5 minutes in convulsive seizures)

4. Reassure and monitor the child

5. Call an ambulance if the seizure continues for 5 minutes after giving rescue medication

"As most prolonged, acute, convulsive seizures, occur in the community, whether or not children receive the immediate treatment needed as prescribed by their doctor depends on the presence of a parent, teacher or carer, who is trained and able to administer rescue medication," explains Lisa Farmer, Interim Chief Executive at Young Epilepsy, the national charity dedicated to improving the lives of young people with the condition. "It's vital anyone working with children with epilepsy be familiar with emergency rescue medication. We hope that by promoting these five simple steps for parents and carers of young people with epilepsy to follow, they will feel more confident in providing rescue medication when required, and help prevent possible serious health consequences from a prolonged seizure," continued Lisa.

Epilepsy affects around one in every 200 children and young people in the UK.[2] The condition is the most common neurological disorder in children[3], and is characterized by recurrent seizures[4], most of which are brief and stop themselves after 1-2 minutes without the need for immediate medical treatment.[6] However, some seizures may become prolonged, lasting for 5 minutes or more. These prolonged, acute, convulsive seizures are unlikely to stop on their own and require emergency treatment.[5],[6]

"NICE and other international guidelines recommend that any convulsive seizure lasting longer than 5 minutes should be treated with rescue medication as quickly as possible to prevent progression to status epilepticus" highlighted Nina Solomon, Epilepsy Specialist Nurse at Young Epilepsy. She adds, "In practice, valuable time often passes as carers wait for an ambulance to arrive and for them to administer rescue medication."

This campaign will be rolled out across the UK, with information available from the Young Epilepsy website, http://www.youngepilepsy.org.uk or to receive the information by post, call the Young Epilepsy Helpline on +44(0)1342-831342.

Dr Kristin Pagano, Medical Manager at ViroPharma commented: "ViroPharma is delighted to announce the launch of this campaign. We are committed to educating patients and carers of children with epilepsy about the rescue management of prolonged, acute, convulsive seizures in the community. We will work closely with Young Epilepsy to communicate this educational and awareness campaign and promote good practice in the provision of such rescue management in the community."

Media Contacts   

About Epileptic Seizures

Seizures are a result of excessive, sudden and abnormal electrical activity in the brain. There are many causes of seizures affecting paediatric patients; many are the result of epilepsy, but other triggers can include certain medicines, head injuries, certain diseases, and high fevers (called 'febrile seizures'). Epilepsy is among the most common childhood neurological disorders in developed countries.[3] There are approximately six million people affected by epilepsy in Europe;[7] nearly one million European children and adolescents have active epilepsy.[8] Epilepsy can cause negative cognitive, behavioural and neurological effects and in rare cases convulsive seizures can lead to secondary renal problems. [1],[6],[9] Seizure frequency can vary from less than one per year to many per week[8] and can vary in length.[6] If left untreated, prolonged, acute, convulsive seizures may lead to status epilepticus (SE) and patients may require hospitalisation and intensive care.[5],[10]

About Young Epilepsy

Young Epilepsy is the national charity working exclusively on behalf of children and young people with epilepsy. With over 100 years of experience we are a leading provider of specialist health and education services. The charity offers support, information, training for health, social care and education professionals and campaigns to improve access to, and quality of, health and education services.

About ViroPharma Incorporated

ViroPharma Incorporated is an international biopharmaceutical company committed to developing and commercialising solutions for physician specialists to try and help address unmet medical needs of patients living with diseases that have few clinical therapeutic options, including C1 esterase inhibitor deficiency, treatment of seizures in children and adolescents, adrenal insufficiency, and C. difficile infection (CDI). Our goal is to provide rewarding careers to employees, to help create new standards of care in the way serious diseases are treated, and to build international partnerships with the patients, advocates, and healthcare professionals we serve.

ViroPharma routinely posts information, including press releases, which may be important to investors in the investor relations and media sections of our company's website, http://www.viropharma.com/. The company encourages investors to consult these sections for more information on ViroPharma and our business.

Forward-Looking Statements

Certain statements in this press release contain forward-looking statements that involve a number of risks and uncertainties. Forward-looking statements provide our current expectations or forecasts of future events, including whether this educational campaign will be successful, and the estimated number of patients in the UK that may experience epileptic seizures, including recurrent or prolonged seizures.  These, and other factors, including, but not limited to those described in our annual report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2012 and quarterly reports on Form 10-Q filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission for the periods ended March 31, 2013 and June 30, 2013 could cause future results to differ materially from the expectations expressed in this press release. The forward-looking statements contained in this press release are made as of the date hereof and may become outdated over time. ViroPharma does not assume any responsibility for updating any forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements should not be relied upon as representing our assessments as of any date subsequent to the date of this press release.

References

1. Walker M. Status epilepticus: an evidence based guide. BMJ 2005; 331:673-677.

2.  Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health. Epilepsy 12, Better care for children and young people with Epilepsy. National Audit Report for Parents and Young People, 2012. Available at: http://www.rcpch.ac.uk/news/variation-care-children-epilepsy-revealed-first-uk-wide-audit Last Accessed August 2013.

3. Ekinci O, et al. Depression and anxiety in children and adolescents with epilepsy: Prevalence, risk factors, and treatment. Epilepsy & Behavior 2009; 14: 8-18.

4. Rakhade SN, Jensen FE. Epileptogenesis in  the immature brain: emerging mechanisms. Nat Rev Neurol 2009; 5(7):380-391.

5. Ashrafi MR, et al. Efficacy and usability of buccal midazolam in controlling acute prolonged convulsive seizures in children. Eur J Pediatr Neurol 2010;14:434-438.

6. Lagae L. Clinical practice: the treatment of acute seizures in children. Eur J Pediatr 2011;170:413-418.

7. Epilepsy in the WHO European Region: Fostering Epilepsy Care in Europe. 2010. Available at:

http://www.ibe-epilepsy.org/downloads/EURO%20Report%20160510.pdf [ http://www.ibe-epilepsy.org/downloads/EURO Report 160510.pdf ]. Last Accessed August 2013.

8. Forsgren L, et al. The epidemiology of epilepsy in Europe - a systematic review. Eur J Neurol 2005;12:245-53.

9. Epilepsy Action, Learning, behaviour and epilepsy, available at: http://www.epilepsy.org.uk/info/behaviour, Last Accessed August 201310. Sofou K, et al. Management of prolonged seizures and status epilepticus in childhood: a systematic review. J Child Neurol 2009;24:918-26.


ViroPharma:
Emma White (Media Enquiries)
PR, Advocacy and Communications Manager, Europe
Phone +44(0)1628-582732
emma.white@viropharma.com

Young Epilepsy:
Stacey Daniells,
PR Manager at Young Epilepsy
Phone +44(0)1342-831310
sdaniells@youngepilepsy.org.uk

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