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All about the code red condition encephalitis

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Posted by Rachel Lee on 21st March 2022

Medical Negligence

World Encephalitis Day is the global awareness day for people who have been directly or indirectly affected by encephalitis. Led by The Encephalitis Society, it aims to raise global awareness of encephalitis, as the condition affects over 500,000 people around the world each year.

What is Encephalitis?

Encephalitis is a neurological condition which causes the brain to swell. If left undiagnosed and untreated, it can be life-threatening, cause serious brain damage and potentially other life-changing injuries. It is estimated that there are approximately 6,000 new cases of encephalitis in the United Kingdom each year.

The two types of encephalitis are:

• Infectious encephalitis – caused by an infection invading the brain; and
• Autoimmune encephalitis – caused by the immune system attacking the brain in error.

Viruses such as cold sores, glandular fever, mumps and flu are common causes of encephalitis.

The symptoms of encephalitis are usually sudden and severe. They may include:

• Fever
• Drowsiness, lethargy, and possible coma
• Headaches
• Personality changes, irritability, or emotional outbursts
• Confusion
• Weakness in one or more areas of the body
• Seizures
• Bulging soft spots in infants

How can you help?

If you want to get involved and show your support for The Encephalitis Society and all their hard work, please help spread awareness by getting involved with:

Wear something red on World Encephalitis Day (Tuesday 22 February) and share photographs of this on your social media with the hashtag #Red4WED. You do not have to be an encephalitis sufferer to do this. Simply spreading the word and getting involved does vast amounts to raise awareness and save lives. Be sure to check out the hashtag itself to gain insight into other people’s stories and experience with the condition.

If you know someone who has suffered with encephalitis, or supported someone through it, why not suggest they sign up for the WED membership marathon? Click here to find out more about this.

Encephalitis and Medical Negligence

The following situations may lead to a medical negligence claim for encephalitis:

• A hospital misdiagnoses encephalitis as another condition, such as a stroke, brain tumour or meningitis, leading to a delay in diagnosis;
• A hospital diagnoses encephalitis, however, fails to provide appropriate treatment; or
• A GP fails to consider the potential diagnosis of encephalitis despite noting the patient’s current symptoms and the condition progresses, which leading to a delay in diagnosis and treatment.

Compensation received from a successful claim can be used to improve the patient’s quality of life.

Compensation is intended to maximise independence, for example to cover the costs of:

• Care and assistance;
• Specialist and additional treatment;
• Loss of earnings;
• Accommodation changes;
• Specialist equipment;
• Education; and
• Emotional and physical pain and suffering.

At Wolferstans our specialist team has experience of assisting people who have suffered injury and loss as a result of negligently delayed diagnosis and treatment of encephalitis. If you or a family member has suffered in this way, please contact us on cncoordinators@wolferstans.com or 01752 292201.