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This article was published in May 2013. The information may be out of date. Please check our epilepsy information or our site A-Z.

Man with epilepsy denied medication by police

30 May 2013

Uk policeA man with epilepsy was left feeling “angry and frustrated” after having seizures in a police cell. According to reports in the Derby Telegraph, the police had refused to let him have his epilepsy medication. As a result, the man had two seizures. He was eventually taken to hospital.

Daniel Cunningham, from Derby, had missed a bail hearing for a previous offence. He turned himself in to the police and was arrested. He told the police about his epilepsy, and that he needed to take regular medication. The police refused to let him have his medication. They said it was because the tablets weren’t in their original box. So they couldn’t tell if it was definitely his medication or not.

Mr Cunningham had a seizure the following morning, while still in the police cell. He then had a second seizure, while being seen by the police’s medical examiner. He was then taken to hospital, where he was kept for 24 hours.

A complaint was made by Mr Cunningham to Derbyshire Constabulary. The complaint was investigated. However, the police’s Professional Standards Department did not agree with it. Mr Cunningham is now making a civil claim against the police.

Epilepsy Action’s PR and Campaigns manager, Stacey Rennard, said: “Many people with epilepsy take medicines to help control their seizures and it’s vital that they are able to take these regularly. This is to keep a steady level of the drug in their blood stream and keep their seizures under control.

“Missing doses of epilepsy medicines can cause a person to have a seizure. This is a major issue. Not only could the person be put at risk of injury or harm but this could also impact on their employment and social life. A single seizure can cause someone to lose their driving licence.”

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