Maryland's individualized system for assessing driving applicants with epileptic seizures resulted in a dynamic process of approvals and denials based on favorable and unfavorable risk factors and lengths of seizure freedom, a recent retrospective study found. Maryland updated its driving regulation guidelines in 2003 to reflect those of a US consensus guideline requiring a minimum 3-month seizure-free period as well as an individual risk assessment by a Medical Advisory Board (MAB). MAB reviews and licensing records for Maryland driver applicants with seizures between 2004 and 2005 were reviewed, during which 254 first-time applicants were processed. Researchers found:
- The MAB approved driving for 74.8% of initial applicants; most had been seizure-free for over 6 months.
- Approved drivers had a longer median seizure-free period (563 days) compared to those who were denied (104.5 days), and 22.7% of approved drivers had seizures recur during monitoring over the next year, although none resulted in crashes or deaths.
- Of applicants initially denied (n=50), 89.3% were eventually licensed.
- Treating physicians recommended driving for 84.4% of applicants rejected by the MAB.
Ma BB, Bloch J, Krumholz, et al. Regulating drivers with epilepsy in Maryland: Results of the application of a United States consensus guideline. [Published online ahead of print June 1, 2017]. Epilepsia. doi:10.1111/epi.13804.
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