After effects

Meningitis and septicaemia can cause a range of disabilities and problems that can alter lives.

After effects may be temporary or permanent, physical or emotional.

Meningitis and septicaemia can cause a range of health problems that can alter lives

Doctors sometimes call health problems following meningitis and septicaemia sequelae

Health problems may be temporary or permanent, physical or emotional

Physical disabilities may be obvious, however neurological and emotional problems may not be immediately apparent but can also cause a wide range of challenges

“Meningitis is ... the reason I was diagnosed with Hydrocephalus (a form of brain damage) as a baby. Meningitis is ... the reason why I have palsy of the eye in my right eye. Meningitis is ... the reason why I get regular headaches. Meningitis is ... the cause behind my balance issues. Meningitis is ... the reason I struggle with my memory and concentration. Meningitis is ... evil and can change lives forever.” – Hazel Judy Sophia Williams

After effects most likely to be caused by meningitis

  • Memory loss/lack of concentration/difficulty retaining information
  • Clumsiness/co-ordination problems
  • Headaches
  • Deafness/hearing problems/tinnitus/dizziness/loss of balance
  • Epilepsy/seizures
  • Weakness/paralysis/spasms
  • Speech problems
  • Loss of sight/vision problems

After effects most likely to be caused by septicaemia

  • Memory loss/lack of concentration/difficulty retaining information
  • Clumsiness/co-ordination problems
  • Arthritis/joint stiffness
  • Scarring/skin damage
  • Amputations
  • Kidney damage
  • Lung damage

Recovery varies considerably from person to person

  • Babies cannot tell you how they feel and parents can feel at a loss as to what the future may hold. 
  • Children can behave differently if they have been in hospital, they can become clingy, have temper tantrums and lose skills they have recently acquired.
  • Adults are often shocked to discover they are very tired and lacking in energy

A person who has been in hospital may feel well at discharge and not realise that they may not be able to slot back into their normal life immediately. It is important to realise that recovery can be a slow process.  

Even those who go on to make a full recovery often report that they became easily tired and found it difficult to concentrate for a period of time during recovery.

Returning to education and/or work too early, or too energetically, can be overwhelming. Phased returns can be helpful. 

If available, follow up care with appropriate health professionals, specialist or support networks after meningitis is really important.  Please ask about these at discharge or speak with your doctor.

See our in depth information

Many of the after effects of meningitis aren't immediately obvious.


In this blog, Support Manager Cat explains how we can help.

A new blog for Meningitis Awareness Week 2019

“Meningitis is ... life changing. For both families affected by losing someone or for those that survive and live with the wide and varying challenges.” – Phil Spalding

Resources
A.
Your Guide - Emotional and behavioural effects of acquired brain injury
Your Guide - Learning and Cognitive Effects
Your Guide - Physical Effects of Acquired Brain Injury
Your Guide - Sensory Effects of Acquired Brain Injury
Your Guide - Speech, Language and Communication Problems
Your Guide - Structure and Function of the Brain
Your Guide - Amputation
Your Guide - Amputee Rehabilitation
Your Guide - Bone Growth Problems
Your Guide - Kidney Damage
Your Guide - Skin Scarring
Your Guide - External Fixators for Limb Correction
Your Guide - Hearing Loss and Tinnitus after Meningitis
Your Guide - Balance Problems
The stories that inspire us to create a world free from meningitis and septicaemia
Meningitis and septicaemia are serious, life threatening illnesses
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Membership and support

The MRF Membership and Support team are here for you for any questions you might have about meningitis and septicaemia and their effects on you, or your family and friends.

Tel: Helpline UK 080 8800 3344 Ireland 1800 41 33 44

Get involved

Please do what you can today and help save and change the lives of thousands