Many People Are Concerned That A Fever Will Cause Brain Damage Especially If Left Untreated Learn If There Is Any Truth To This Claim A Fever Especially A High And/or Prolonged One Can Be A Concern For Several Reasons But One Thing You Likely Do Not Need To Worry About Is Resulting Brain Damagewhen An Otherwise Healthy Person Has A Fever Due To Say A Viral Or Bacterial
When an otherwise healthy person has a fever due to, say, a viral or bacterial infection, it is unlikely to cause brain damage. Even , which occur in children, do not cause any permanent damage. While there is such a risk if one’s body temperature exceeds 107.6 degrees F, a fever that high is extremely rare. The time to be concerned about a high fever is when it is not caused by an illness, but because of overheating, i.e. heat stroke .
Hyperthermia can be caused by overexposure to high temperatures and under-consumption of water. In these cases, the body may not be able to regulate its temperature and medications will not bring the temperature down. Brain and organ damage usually occur because of hyperthermia.
First Aid For Febrile Convulsions
If your child experiences a fit, suggestions include:
- Try to stay calm and don’t panic.
- Make sure your child is safe by placing them on the floor. Remove any object that they could knock themselves against.
- Don’t force anything into your child’s mouth.
- Don’t shake or slap your child.
- Don’t restrain your child.
- Once the convulsion has stopped, roll your child onto their side, also known as the recovery position. If there is food in their mouth, turn their head to the side, and do not try to remove it.
- Note the times that the fit started and stopped to tell the doctor.
- Have your child checked by your doctor or nearest hospital emergency department as soon as possible after the fit stops.
Attributes Not Independently Predictive
Glasgow Coma Score, as a measure of severity of brain injury, individually predicted the development of NF, but did not contribute to the model after adjustment for the above factors. The severely injured patients with GCS scores on admission of 58 were at a statistically significantly increased risk for development of NF in comparison to the referent group. This was likely due to the fact that the majority of subjects fell into this category, thus distribution was not equal throughout. Once adjustment was made for other factors in the overall model, this attribute fell out as a significant independent predictor. Skull fracture was also individually predictive of NF development subsequent to severe TBI, but did not contribute to the overall final model.
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How Can It Affect The Brain
The organism S. Typhi will use the immune system to its advantage, travelling to the nervous system to cause even more complications. In terms of neurological complications, instances involving typhoid vary depending on the severity of the case.
While more typical symptoms include stomach pain, fever, and headaches, some patients developed more severe symptoms, including slurred speech or losing control over muscle movements. A less common symptom linked to brain function is a stroke-like presentation. Like many other more severe symptoms, this tends to present later on in the infection.
As these issues with the nervous system occur later in the disease, by around the second week, it is crucial to diagnose and treat the disease as early as possible. These manifestations are often due to septicemia and septic shock, and these symptoms will often resolve during the early stages of an antibiotic regimen.
How Common Are Febrile Seizures
Children at highest risk for recurrence are those who have:
- Young age. Children who have their first febrile seizure when they are younger than 18 months are at an increased risk of having another one.
- Family history. Children whose family members had febrile seizures are more likely to have more than one seizure.
- First sign of illness. Children who have febrile seizures before exhibiting other symptoms of an illness, are at greater risk of having multiple seizures.
- Low temperature. Children are more likely to have another febrile seizure if the first one was accompanied by a relatively low temperature.
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What Are The Signs & Symptoms Of Encephalitis
Symptoms in mild cases of encephalitis usually include:
It’s harder to spot some of these symptoms in infants. Important signs to look for include:
- a full or bulging soft spot
- crying that doesn’t stop or that seems worse when the baby is picked up or handled
- body stiffness
Because encephalitis can happen during or after common viral illnesses, symptoms of these illnesses can start before encephalitis happens. But often, it appears without warning.
Can Fever Cause Brain Damage
You got a fever, and the only prescription is moreantipyretics? In this episode we break down what a fever is, why a fever is, as well as when and how to treat a fever. How hot can a fever get? Can it damage your brain? Is there such thing as a low grade fever? Do emergency departments have fancy Tylenol? All this plus hallucinations, seizures, and the most accurate way to take a temperature .
Can Encephalitis Be Prevented
Encephalitis can’t be prevented, but you can avoid the illnesses that may lead to it. Immunizations protect kids from many common childhood illnesses. So follow the immunization schedule recommended by your doctor. Kids should also avoid contact with anyone who already has encephalitis.
It’s also important for everyone in your family to wash their hands well and often.
To avoid mosquito bites, kids should:
- Avoid being outside at dawn and dusk, when mosquitoes are most active.
- Wear protective clothing outside, like long sleeves and long pants.
- Use insect repellent.
Drain standing water from around your home, including in buckets, birdbaths, flowerpots, and tire swings. These are breeding grounds for mosquitoes.
- Limit kids’ contact with soil, leaves, and vegetation.
- Have kids wear long-sleeved, light-colored shirts and long pants when outdoors.
- Check your kids and your pets for ticks when they come inside.
Top 5 Fever Myths And Facts
For many parents, fever is one of the most concerning and alarming symptoms a child can have. There are many scary fever myths out there and its time to set the record straight! To many pediatricians, fever is considered a good sign that the body is mounting a response to an infection. Here are my top five fever myths and facts:
Myth #1: Temperatures between 98.7°F and 100°F are low-grade fevers.
Fact: These temperatures are actually normal variations and are not fevers. The bodys temperature changes throughout the day and is naturally higher in the afternoon and evening. An actual fever is any temperature of 100.4°F or higher.
Myth #2: Fevers are bad, can cause brain damage or seizures and are dangerous to my child.
Fact: Fevers are a protective mechanism and a sign that the body’s immune system is turned on. Most fevers are good for sick children and help the body fight infection. Fevers do not cause brain damage. As for seizures, the vast majority of children do not have seizures with a fever. About 4 percent of children can have a seizure with a fever this is called a febrile seizure. Febrile seizures are scary to watch, but they usually stop within five minutes. They do not cause brain damage or have long-term side effects. Children who have had febrile seizures are not at greater risk for developmental delays or learning disabilities.
Myth #3: All fevers need to be treated with fever medicine . After treatment, the fever should go away completely.
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How Is Encephalitis Treated
Most kids with encephalitis need care in a hospital, usually in an intensive care unit . Doctors will watch their blood pressure, heart rate, breathing, and body fluids to prevent further swelling of the brain.
- Antiviral drugs can treat some forms of encephalitis, such as the type caused by the herpes simplex virus.
- Corticosteroids may be used to reduce brain swelling.
- Anticonvulsants might be given to a child having seizures.
- Over-the-counter medicines, like acetaminophen, can help with fever and headaches.
- Antibiotics don’t work against viruses, so aren’t used to treat most forms of encephalitis.
Many people with encephalitis make a full recovery. In some cases, brain swelling can cause lasting problem like learning disabilities, speech problems, memory loss, or lack of muscle control. Speech therapy, physical therapy, or occupational therapy can help in these cases.
How Is Encephalitis Diagnosed
Doctors use several tests to diagnose encephalitis, including:
- imaging tests, such as computed tomography scans or magnetic resonance imaging , to check the brain for swelling, bleeding, or other problems
- electroencephalogram , which records the electrical signals in the brain, to check for unusual brain waves
- blood tests to look for bacteria or viruses in the blood. These also can show if the body is making antibodies in response to a germ
- lumbar puncture, or spinal tap, which checks cerebrospinal fluid for signs of infection
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Mechanism Of Cerebral Damage
The mechanism by which cellular and cerebral injury and death occurs is not yet fully defined, but is probably multi-factorial. It may be grouped into three broad areas some of these are explored briefly below.
Cellular effects: membrane, mitochondrial and DNA damage, stimulation of excitotoxic mechanisms, protein denaturation
Local effects: ischaemia, inflammatory changes, oedema, cytokine release, vascular damage
Systemic effects: changes in cerebral blood flow, endotoxaemia, bacterial translocation through a dysfunctional gastrointestinal tract.
Continue Learning About Infectious Disease
Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.
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Are Febrile Seizures Related To Epilepsy
Epilepsy is a medical condition where one can experience repeated seizures without any triggers . These seizures happen without fever. This is the big difference between epilepsy and febrile seizures when a child has febrile seizures, theres a fever. Even if your child had recurrent febrile seizures, this doesnt mean that the child has epilepsy.
Most Fevers Not Harmful
“When you sweat you lose water, but a good judge of how much fluid you need is whether you feel thirsty. Most of the time if you feel thirsty, you should drink if you don’t , you probably don’t need to.”
High fevers from infections can also trigger fits or seizures in about one in 30 children.
These fevers can be terrifying to watch but “are not harmful and do not cause brain damage” or epilepsy, the Royal Children’s Hospital Melbourne says.
So forget about your child’s brain being “fried”. And remember the degree of the fever and its rapidity of onset are “not good predictors of serious illness”, the hospital’s clinical practice guidelines for fever in a child say.
Its advice to parents says “there is no advantage to lowering your child’s fever, except for comfort”.
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What Are The Symptoms Of A Febrile Seizure
There are several different symptoms of a febrile seizure, however, not every child will experience all of these symptoms. One child might only have a few of these symptoms, while another child may have many of the symptoms on the list.
Possible symptoms of a febrile seizure can include:
- A fever thats high or a rapid rise in body temperature.
- Loss of consciousness or fainting like episode that lasts 30 seconds to five minutes.
- General muscle contraction and rigidity that usually lasts 15 to 20 seconds.
- Violent rhythmic muscle contractions and relaxations that commonly lasts for one to two minutes.
- Biting of the cheek or tongue.
- Clenching of the teeth or jaw.
- Rolling of the eyes back in the head or persistent eye deviation to one side.
- Losing control of urine or stool.
- Absence of breathing or difficulty breathing during a seizure. The skin may also be a blue color. After the seizure ends, the child might take deep, spontaneous breaths.
Who Gets Encephalitis
Encephalitis is a rare disease. Most cases happen in children, the elderly, and people with a weakened immune system .
Several thousand cases of encephalitis are reported to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention every year. But health experts think that many more cases happen that aren’t reported because symptoms vary and can be mild.
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When To Call A Doctor
Even if you or your child have not been exposed to high environmental temperatures, and hyperthermia is not a concern, there are several other factors that play into deciding what to do about a fever.
In young children, take action based on your child’s age and temperature:
- Under 3 months: Call a doctor for a rectal temperature of 100.4 degrees F or higher
- a child of any age: Call a doctor when temp rises above 104 degrees F repeatedly
In children over 12 months and adults, there are other things to consider. Some situations that warrant calling a doctor include:
- A child under age 2 who has a fever for over 24 to 48 hours
- A fever that lasts longer than 48 to 72 hours in older children and adults
- A fever over 105 degrees F, which could indicate a more serious illness
- Presence of other concerning symptoms such as a stiff neck, confusion, difficulty breathing, or a first-time seizure
- Presence of other symptoms that make you think an illness may need to be treated, such as a sore throat, earache, or a cough
- You think you may have incorrectly dosed medication or you arent sure what dose to give
The Effects On The Body Of A Fever
This article discusses the differences between pyrogenic and non-pyrogenic fever . Normal human temperature is around 37C, but may vary by up to 1C. Fever is not defined, but often taken to be 38.3C or higher. The terms pyrexia, fever and hyperthermia are used interchangeably most sources differentiate a raised temperature caused by the action of thermoregulatory pyrogens on the hypothalamus, from conditions that increase the bodys temperature above that set by the hypothalamus .
Fig. 1. Diagrammatic representation of the mechanisms of damage from hyperthermia.
Generation of fever The traditional mechanism of fever generation in sepsis was exogenous or endogenous pyrogens stimulating the organum vasculosum of the lamina terminalis in the brain . The pathway is probably more complex more recent work has identified other cytokines, and that neural pathways may have a role. Neural pathways may account for the rapid onset of fever, with cytokine production responsible for the maintenance, rather than the initiation of fever.
A fever in infection is common in animals, and it offers a survival benefit. There are several reasons: human pathogens may replicate less well at higher temperatures many antibiotics work better and the innate immune system is more effective. However, at temperatures above around 40C, mortality increases, suggesting that at this stage the deleterious effects of hyperthermia outweigh any benefit.
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General Advice For Coping With Post
If youre experiencing post-concussion symptoms, including body temperature problems or other issues, thats a clear indication that your brain function is still affected by your injury. In this case, getting the right treatment is the biggest step you can take to start feeling better. You may need a combination of treatment for the head injury, treatment for an endocrinologist for hormone regulation issues, and assistance from a psychologist for emotional symptoms.
Along with treatment, you can also take some steps on your own to manage symptoms of a concussion. Regardless of which type of thermoregulation issues you experience those related to low body temperature, high body temperature, or both here are some dos and donts to keep in mind on your road to recovery.
Do: Exercise, because exercise increases blood flow throughout your body and brain.
Enhancing circulation through your body is excellent for cold-related symptoms, but increasing brain blood flow can also help heat-related and subjective symptoms by circulating oxygen-rich blood into brain tissue thats underserved by vasculature due to head trauma.
Do: Discover which behavioral changes work for you.
As human beings, our ability to change our immediate surroundings is essential for thermoregulation. Experiment with as many different strategies as possible to get comfortable and stick with what works.
Do: Document and track your symptoms.
Dont: Overcompensate with extremes.
When To Contact A Medical Professional
- Is 3 months or younger and has a rectal temperature of 100.4°F or higher
- Is 3 to 12 months old and has a fever of 102.2°F or higher
- Is 2 years or younger and has a fever that lasts longer than 24 to 48 hours
- Is older and has a fever for longer than 48 to 72 hours
- Has a fever of 105°F or higher, unless it comes down readily with treatment and the person is comfortable
- Has other symptoms that suggest an illness may need to be treated, such as a sore throat, earache, or cough
- Has had fevers come and go for up to a week or more, even if these fevers are not very high
- Has a serious medical illness, such as a heart problem, sickle cell anemia, diabetes, or cystic fibrosis
- Recently had an immunization
- Has a new rash or bruises
- Has pain with urination
- Has a weakened immune system
- Has recently traveled to another country
- Have a fever of 105°F or higher, unless it comes down readily with treatment and you are comfortable
- Have a fever that stays at or keeps rising above 103°F
- Have a fever for longer than 48 to 72 hours
- Have had fevers come and go for up to a week or more, even if they are not very high
- Have a serious medical illness, such as a heart problem, sickle cell anemia, diabetes, cystic fibrosis, COPD, or other long-term lung problems
- Have a new rash or bruises
- Have pain with urination
- Have a weakened immune system
- Have recently traveled to another country
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