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

By: - February 6, 2024 2:52 pm

Rep. Jason Nemes sponsored House Bill 166. (LRC Public Information)

Kentucky data could aid research into deaths related to epilepsy under bill headed for House

FRANKFORT — 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. 

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.” 

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Sarah Ladd
Sarah Ladd

Sarah Ladd is a Louisville-based journalist from West Kentucky who's covered everything from crime to higher education. She spent nearly two years on the metro breaking news desk at The Courier Journal. In 2020, she started reporting on the COVID-19 pandemic and has covered health ever since. As the Kentucky Lantern's health reporter, she focuses on mental health, LGBTQ+ issues, children's welfare, COVID-19 and more.

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