Microwave oven injuries in patients with complex partial seizures

John C. DeToledo, Merredith R. Lowe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Microwave ovens are often recommended as a safe cooking alternative for persons with epilepsy. We report four patients who suffered serious burns to their hands while handling microwave-heated liquids during a complex partial seizure (CPS). Injuries were due to the contact of the skin with a very hot container. The fact that all patients held on to the hot containers despite being burned and that they did not remember experiencing any pain at the time of the accident indicates that neither high temperatures nor pain will prevent patients who are having a CPS from suffering this type of injury. Unfortunately, there is no foolproof way to prevent the individual from opening the oven and removing its contents during a CPS. The only solution for this problem is "prevention"-individuals with poorly controlled CPS should be cautioned about these risks. The use of microwave settings that permit the heating but not boiling of liquids and the use of gloves while heating food and liquids to scalding temperatures may minimize the risk of this type of injury.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)772-774
Number of pages3
JournalEpilepsy and Behavior
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 2004


  • Accident
  • Burn
  • Epilepsy
  • Injuries
  • Microwave
  • Seizures

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Behavioral Neuroscience
  • Neurology


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