Hospital Accident Lawyers

My child developed encephalitis in the hospital. It was not diagnosed in time and as a result, my child suffered brain damage. Can I file a medical negligence claim?

Encephalitis is an inflammation of the brain that is caused by an infection or a poor response on the part of the bodies’ immune system. Anyone, of all ages, including adults and children, can develop encephalitis. If it is not diagnosed in a very small window of time, the effects can be absolutely devastating.

Every year in the U.S. there are several thousand cases of encephalitis diagnosed each year. The most common is acute viral encephalitis followed by postinfectious encephalomyelitis. The symptoms of encephalitis are similar to the flu which is why it can go undiagnosed for a period of time. Over the following hours, days, or sometimes week, more serious symptoms of the illness can present themselves. These include:

  • Confusion
  • Drowsiness
  • High fever
  • Weakness
  • Bulging spots on infants
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Coma

Sometimes the symptoms are mistaken for meningitis; thus treated differently. Autoimmune encephalitis, or when the body mistakenly attacks healthy brain cells, is usually not so quick to develop. Over the course of a period of time, ranging from days or weeks, a person may exhibit:

  • Movement disorders
  • Psychosis
  • Changes in personality
  • Hallucinations
  • Memory loss
  • Sleep problems
  • Seizures

Testing include brain scans, blood tests, and a spinal test may help to diagnose encephalitis. If caught in time, medication including antibiotics and sedatives may be prescribed. In the case of autoimmune encephalitis, a blood transfusion, steroids, or immunoglobulin may be ordered by a medical doctor.

When Medical Negligence Occurs

In general, diagnosing encephalitis is not easy. Furthermore, despite the medications and treatment available, actually treating encephalitis is difficult. Even the best doctors might not be able to reach an outcome that is favorable for the patient and their loved ones. That being said, sometimes the care for a patient will fall short of that which even medical doctors would implement and expect. If you believe the following is relevant to your situation, you may have a medical negligence case:

  • The encephalitis was not diagnosed or was misdiagnosed
  • Tests were not ordered
  • The right treatment was not administered
  • The hospital sent you or your loved one home

In order to prove these things, a hospital negligence lawyer will need to prove that the medical facility or doctor did not adhere to the standards that another doctor would have adhered to in similar circumstances. As a result of the care, or lack of, the outcome has been made worse. In this event, whether the patient lived or lost their life, a claim may be filed.

These types of cases are not easy and should always be overseen by a hospital negligence lawyer who understands the law, medical terminology, and negligence claims, as well as, problems relating to encephalitis.

Filing a Claim

In the event you do have a claim, we may seek the opinions and testimony from:

  • Neurologists
  • Neuropsychologists and Neuropsychiatrists
  • Cognitive experts
  • Speech, hearing, and language experts
  • Occupational therapists
  • Rehabilitation specialists
  • Education specialists