Definition of Encephalitis
It is an inflammatory process of central nervous system producing altered function of various portions of the brain and spinal cord.
Causes of Encephalitis
► Virus through direct invasion of CNS by virus or post-infectious with virus.
► Bacterial infection.
► Fungi infection.
Manifestations of Encephalitis
Onset is sudden or gradual
3. Headache, dizziness.
5. Neck stiffness.
6. Nausea and vomiting.
8. Tremors, hyperactivity.
9. Speech difficulties.
In severe cases:
1. High fever.
3. Disorientation, spasticity.
4. Seizures, coma (may proceed to death).
5. Ocular palsies.
Diagnostic Tests of Encephalitis
► Lumber puncture.
► Brain biopsy.
Therapeutic management of Encephalitis
► Children must be treated in the hospital for observation and skilled nursing care.
► Supportive treatment for adequate hydration, control of cerebral manifestations and adequate nutrition.
► Rehabilitation therapy for residual effect of the disease.
Prognosis of Encephalitis
► It depends on child’s age, type of organisms and residual neurological damage.
► Very young children may show increased neurologic disability which includes seizures disorders and learning disabilities.
Nursing care of Encephalitis
► Same as for a child with meningitis (the major aspects of the care are neurological monitoring, administeration of medications, emotional support for the child and family).