People with epilepsy now have access to a national epilepsy nurse helpline service via phone and email.
The Epilepsy Nurse Line launched by Epilepsy Action Australia is available in all states and territories from 9am-5pm seven days a week and offers people with epilepsy and carers access to a Registered Nurse with special training in epilepsy management.
The epilepsy nurses are qualified to answer questions about medications, lifestyle implications of epilepsy such as drinking alcohol, driving, playing sport or pregnancy, planning for the NDIS, employment, first aid, seizure management and more.
The nurses can also refer callers on to external services, more specialist epilepsy nurses and consultants, if the nature of the call warrants further assistance.
Carol Ireland, CEO of Epilepsy Action Australia, said the Epilepsy Nurse Line will be particularly helpful for people living in rural and remote regions of Australia, who may have limited access to medical professionals trained in epilepsy management.
“There are around 250,000 people diagnosed with epilepsy in Australia and many of them only see their epilepsy specialist once or twice a year,” she said.
“The Epilepsy Nurse Line will mean that a person who has a question about their medication can get an almost instant response, or a person concerned about a family member who has had a seizure can get immediate advice as to what to do next.”
The launch of the helpline was welcomed by Associate Professor Armin Nikpour, Head of Neurology at Royal Prince Alfred Hospital in Sydney.
“I know that many of my patients with epilepsy and their families will find this new Epilepsy Nurse Line extremely helpful in terms of accessing reliable, safe and qualified information about their condition, at a time when they need it most.”