A brain abscess is a swelling on the brain caused by an infection. The infection enters the brain tissue causing headaches, fever, seizures, mental impairment and possible paralysis on one side of the body. The condition is life-threatening if untreated and is considered a medical emergency. The abscess may have been caused by an infection which entered an open wound in the skull or an infection originating in another part of the body such as the mouth or ear. It may also be caused by a pneumonia infection which has spread via the blood to the brain. The abscess can reduce blood and oxygen supplies to the brain which can result in brain damage if left untreated.
Treatment for an abscess is usually a combination of antibiotics and surgery where the abscess is drained to relieve pressure on the brain and to increase the supply of blood and oxygen back to the affected area. The abscess may be removed entirely. Although brain abscesses are rare in developed countries, they still have the potential to occur in those who have suffered an open wound, head trauma or those who have suffered septicaemia from another infection. A failure to diagnose a brain abscess in an infected patient may result in severe complications or even mortality.
Complications of a brain abscess
A brain abscess must be treated immediately as there is a risk that it may burst causing a fatality. The abscess may also cause complications such as epileptic seizures or brain damage in more severe cases. If there has been a failure to diagnose a brain abscess correctly or a delay in diagnosis, the results can be devastating for the patient involved. Brain damage may cause impairment of physical and mental ability which may require a number of lifestyle changes or the attention of a regular carer. It may also affect the patient’s ability to perform everyday tasks which could lead to loss of employment. In a severe case, the patient may not survive the abscess if it is allowed to progress. If there is evidence of negligence and someone suffered brain injury, you may be able to win compensation.
How to claim
Call Accident Advice Helpline on 0800 689 0500 to obtain some no-obligation advice from our team of solicitors regarding a compensation claim for potential medical negligence. If you or a family member has suffered injury or illness because of a medical professional, you may win a cash payout to help you cope with the financial repercussions of this. Our no win, no fee* policy means you can only benefit from making your claim with us.