Systemic infections can leave you with a serious acquired brain injury (ABI). Initially mild infections can escalate in severity without proper treatment. For example, a sinus infection can cause a brain injury, if allowed to continue untreated.
The resultant infectious disease acquired brain injury can be mild to severe. Sometimes the injury is treatable, and the patient can recover. At other times, the injury is more serious and causes permanent disabilities.
Infectious Diseases Can Cause ABIs Within Hours
Infectious diseases can cause mild, moderate, or severe brain injuries. The consequences of these injuries depend heavily on the nature of the disease and how it affects the individual. In general, immediate medical treatment can mitigate the severity of the resulting brain injury.
Septicemia, a blood infection, is one of the deadliest infectious diseases. The symptoms include a high fever and septicemia (a bloodstream infection), which can lead to septic shock. The resultant drastic drop in blood pressure can adversely affect the blood supply to the brain.
Blood infections often begin in the course of:
- Lung infections
- Skin infections
- Urinary tract infections
- Abdominal infections
- Sinus infections
- Tooth infections
Other infectious diseases that may lead to acquired brain injuries include:
Understanding the Lasting Effects of an ABI
Every ABI is different, so it is impossible to predict the ways an infectious disease can affect an individual’s brain. It is also difficult to determine how many of the symptoms of an ABI will disappear or remain as permanent impairments after treatment.
Some of the most common ways ABIs affect sufferers include:
- Loss of consciousness
- Impairments related to mobility and dexterity
- Loss of speech
- Difficulty articulating one’s thoughts
- Disorientation and confusion
- Poor concentration and focus
- Delayed response time
- Memory issues
- Severe fatigue
- Problems with coordination and balance
- Double vision
- Loss of sense of smell
- Deafness or ringing in the ears
- Emotional and behavioral changes
- Epilepsy and seizures
Treatment and Rehabilitation After an Infectious Disease and ABI
It is vital in these cases to stabilize the patient’s vitals as quickly as possible. Getting an immediate diagnosis and care is key to mitigating brain injuries. Patients who get prompt care have a much better chance of recovering and sustaining few or no permanent impairments.
Doctors can offer appropriate therapies and guide families through the recovery process. While a full recovery is not always possible, the goal is to help every person regain strength and learn to live as independently as possible. Patients can either learn how to overcome impairments or compensate for the loss of certain skills.
Most people need at least some type of therapy. Some recover fully in only a few weeks, while others need months of intense inpatient treatment. The therapies available include:
- Physical therapy
- Cognitive therapy
- Occupational therapy
- Speech therapy
In general, most people adapt fairly well to living with lasting impairments. They relearn lost skills and learn to adapt. However, those who suffer from severe brain injuries may require around-the-clock care. This may prompt family members to hire in-home nursing care or place their loved one in a long-term care facility.
Infectious Diseases, ABIs, and Pursuing Compensation
You could have a strong case if your doctor delayed your diagnosis or misdiagnosed your infectious disease, which led to an acquired brain injury. Doctors who follow proper protocols should be able to recognize the symptoms of a serious infectious disease, diagnose it, and begin the right treatment.
If your doctor did not diagnose your condition and this caused your brain injury to worsen, you may be eligible to recover compensation through a medical malpractice claim. A brain injury lawyer can help you.
If you or your loved one is suffering the effects of a brain injury from an infectious disease, the personal injury team from Newsome | Melton can evaluate your case for free. We have over two decades of experience handling brain injury cases, and we know what it takes to protect your rights.
Call today to get started with your free consultation at (800) 917-5888.