Brain Injury Caused by Infection

June 27, 2017

Encephalitis is a rare but serious brain inflammation that is caused by infection or through the body’s own immune system mistakenly attacking the brain.

Typical causes of Encephalitis:

  • The herpes simplex virus
  • The measles virus
  • The varicella virus (chickenpox)
  • The rubella virus (German measles)

Symptoms vary but can be separated as initial symptom and post-infectious symptoms. Initial symptoms include; Fever (high body temperature) and general feeling of being unwell. Post-infectious symptoms include; nausea and vomiting, mild to moderate neck stiffness, drowsiness and confusion and problems with memory.

Encephalitis is easy to identify if the appropriate tests are undertaken.  These tests include a CT/MRI scan, Lumbar puncture, Electroencephalogram (EEG), and Blood tests. It is essential that it is recognised at an early stage and treated accordingly.  Delay in diagnosis can lead to disastrous consequences.  In February this year, a 24-year-old girl contracted encephalitis and spent nearly 4 months fighting for her life until her medical team finally discovered the cause.

Medical Treatment:

The NHS website provides some useful guidance about diagnosis and treatment. Once diagnosed, the patient needs medical treatment as soon as possible. The earlier the condition is identified, and appropriate treatment commenced, the more successful the treatment will be.

Depending on the type of Encephalitis, treatment includes:

  • Anti-viral medication
  • Steroid injections
  • Immunosuppressant medication


Some patients might be lucky enough to fully recover, but for most, a certain degree of brain damage may remain, leaving them to have to cope with ongoing problems, such as:

  • Memory loss
  • Epilepsy
  • Personality changes
  • Difficulty in concentration, attention, and planning etc.
  • Extreme tiredness

Here at Metcalfes we deal with all areas of medical negligence, including brain injury. If you think that you or a loved one has suffered a brain injury as a result of medical negligence or are concerned with the quality of care and treatment they are now receiving for a brain injury, we may be able to help. Please contact us on 0117 239 8012.  Alternatively, you can email us by using our online contact form and we will be happy to discuss your potential claim with you.

Further Reading:

Website content note: This is not legal advice; it is intended to provide information of general interest about current legal issues.

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Brain Injury Caused by Infection

Gillian Clark

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