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Encephalitis claims

What is encephalitis?

Encephalitis is rare but dangerous illness when the brain becomes inflamed which can be life-threatening, or cause serious brain damage and other life-changing injuries, if left undiagnosed and untreated.  The most common cause is a viral infection, including the viruses that cause mumps, measles, rubella, glandular fever and others.
Encephalitis can also occur when the immune system attacks the brain without the person having suffered a viral infection, this is called autoimmune encephalitis.
Encephalitis is most dangerous for the very young or old. Undiagnosed encephalitis in babies can lead to catastrophic brain damage, blindness, loss of hearing, seizures, and memory loss. These health problems have a serious impact on the person who has suffered encephalitis, and on the lives of their families.  

Symptoms and diagnosis of encephalitis

Symptoms of encephalitis can initially resemble those of flu such as a headache and high temperature.  More serious symptoms can develop very quickly, or over a number of days or weeks.  These include fever,  confusion, seizures, lethargy and loss of movement, difficulty in speaking and changes in behaviour. Other symptoms can include sensitivity to bright light. 
Methods of diagnosing encephalitis include the use of CT and MRI scans of the brain, lumbar punctures to test cerebrospinal fluid for abnormalities, the use of EEG to test electrical activity in the brain, and blood tests.

Treatment for encephalitis

Cases of encephalitis need to be treated in hospital and treatment should be started as soon as possible to avoid long-term health problems.  Treatments include the administration of antiviral medication, steroid injections, antibiotics and oxygen. Pain relief and treatment to control the immune system can also be given. 

Encephalitis and medical negligence

You or a member of your family may have a claim for medical negligence if encephalitis is not diagnosed and treated appropriately in its early stages.
Our experienced team of medical negligence lawyers has secured millions of pounds for clients who have been failed by medical staff who have failed to diagnose and treat encephalitis.  Our cases include:
  • Securing £7m for a brain-injured man who contracted encephalitis caused by the herpes simplex virus when he was three weeks old. The hospital where he was admitted failed to carry out a lumbar puncture the day he was admitted, and delayed treatment with the anti-viral drug Acyclovir.  
  • Securing a lump sum of £1.5m and annual 6-figure payments throughout his life for a client who contracted meningitis and encephalitis as a one year old. His treatment was delayed by a number of days, leaving him with profound brain damage, blind and deaf. 

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