Encephalitis Solicitors Raising Awareness

Sports Player Brain Injury
BSC, LLB (Hons) & LPC Sophia Azam
Legally reviewed by: BSC, LLB (Hons) & LPC Sophia Azam In: Medical Negligence

World Encephalitis Day 2022

The 22 February 2022, is World Encephalitis Day. This day is arranged by The Encephalitis Society and aims to raise global awareness of encephalitis, a condition that affects over 500,000 people around the world every year and in the UK there are up to 6,000 cases. Founded by The Encephalitis Society in 2014, it has reached over 236 million people through media features, events and social media over the years.

Despite being more common than Meningitis, few people actually know about the devastating diagnosis that is Encephalitis and the catastrophic effect it can have on sufferers and their families. Seventy eight per cent of people across the world do not know what encephalitis is.

What is Encephalitis?

Encephalitis is a rare condition in which the brain becomes inflamed. This can be a life-threatening condition and it can affect anyone at any age. Without urgent treatment, the death rate is high and survivors can be left with life-changing acquired brain injuries. Whilst the condition is rare, the Encephalitis Society estimates that over half a million children and adults are affected by encephalitis each year.

The early indications of encephalitis are often mild, but become more serious over time. The symptoms depend on the type of encephalitis, for example, symptoms of infectious encephalitis will often include high temperatures, headaches and sickness, whilst symptoms of autoimmune encephalitis may include confusion and hallucination. When the brain becomes affected, the condition can quickly deteriorate, and those affected can develop seizures, loss of feeling and loss of consciousness.

Given the similarity of these symptoms to other conditions, symptoms alone are often insufficient to distinguish between the many diseases that can mimic encephalitis. To avoid any delays in diagnosis, investigations such as a lumbar puncture, a CT or MRI scan and blood tests should be conducted as soon as possible.

Once a diagnosis has been made, treatment will be provided for both the cause of the encephalitis (e.g. antivirals and antibiotics), and for the symptoms and complications arising from the condition (e.g. fluids to prevent dehydration and medication to control seizures or fits).

The earlier that encephalitis is treated, the more likely it is that a good recovery can be made. However, even with the correct treatment, certain types of encephalitis still have high mortality rates (between 10-30%). To those affected by encephalitis, the realisation that current treatments are sometimes unable to treat the condition is a frightening prospect, and the rapid development of the disease can be traumatic for all involved.

Unfortunately, global awareness of this condition is low, and it is estimated that 78% of the general public do not know what encephalitis is.  In 2021 to mark World Encephalitis Day, the Encephalitis Society are turning over 90 global landmarks red, and encouraging supporters to wear red to help raise awareness of the condition. This included The Royal Liver Building turning red to help “shine a light” on a devastating brain condition.

The Encephalitis Society is a fantastic international charity based in the UK supporting patients and families following all forms of encephalitis they also provide training, support research and help to raise awareness of the condition.

Why Might Medical Negligence Occur?

Encephalitis is difficult to diagnose. Encephalitis is not easy to treat and despite the best efforts of doctors involved in a patient’s care, the outcome is not always what the patient or his or her family would hope for. On occasions it is possible that the standard of treatment received by a patient may fall short of that which the medical profession itself would expect. That may be in relation to a failure to diagnose the condition, a failure to carry out appropriate tests or a failure to provide the appropriate treatment.

You may be entitled to bring a claim for compensation if encephalitis has not been treated properly. For example, if there has been a delay, misdiagnosis or inappropriate medical care.

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Our solicitors handle every case on a no win no fee agreement, with compassion and sensitivity, working hard to get to know everything about what happened to you so as to present the best case possible on your behalf.

Before we get started with your claim we will provide you with a free assessment of your case, so you know exactly what making a claim will entail for you. Your wellbeing and recovery is our number one priority, and we want to help in the best way possible.

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