Brain Infections, (Meningitis, Encephalitis)

Infections involving the brain are classified into two categories. Meningitis is a form of brain infection when the membranes that cover the brain become infected. The other form of brain infection involves the actual brain tissue itself, this is called encephalitis.

The symptoms of a brain infection may vary depending on the age of the person, the type of bacteria, the location of the infection, the type of the infection, and the acuteness of the disease. Typically people older than two years of age with acute bacterial infection may develop a high fever, severe headache, stiff neck or pain when moving the head or neck, sensitivity to light (photophobia), nausea, drowsiness, lethargy, and vomiting.

Newborns and infants' symptoms may involve irritability, becoming fussy, sleepy, feeding poorly, and may not be comforted by holding. Neurological abnormalities or seizures may develop in the later stages of the disease.

It is very important for someone with a brain infection to have it diagnosed early and to start receiving treatment. There are many symptoms of meningitis, however, they may be caused by other medical conditions.

A typical examination for detection of a brain infection may involve a physical examination where the doctor is looking for particular clinical signs such as an altered level of consciousness as well as any fever-like symptoms. The doctor may even perform an eye exam to look for any swelling of the main nerve of the eye as well as subtle changes in eye movement or pupil reaction.

Confirmation of the brain infection diagnosis may require the removal and examination of spinal fluid which is known as a spinal tap or lumbar puncture. The doctor may also use brain-imaging studies such as CT scans or MRIs with contrast, which is a special injectable dye that enhances the view of the brain. Timing is critical for the infection to be diagnosed and treated, the difference could be life and death. Survivors of brain infections may be left with permanent severe neurologic disabilities.

Sweeney Law Firm will work with medical specialists such as neurologists, neurosurgeons, neuroradiologists, and other physicians to review medical records, laboratory results, CT scans, and MRI results which will determine the nature of the infection. We will validate whether or not the infection was diagnosed and treated appropriately as well as in a timely fashion. Should medical malpractice have occurred, we may be able to obtain money for the death or injury of a loved one as well as medical expenses, rehabilitation expenses, loss of income, and other damages.