Pediatric Nursing Care Plan for Encephalitis - 4 Diagnosis

Encephalitis is an acute inflammation of the brain. Encephalitis with meningitis is known as meningoencephalitis. It is usually caused by a viral infection.

From an epidemiologic and pathophysiologic perspective, encephalitis is distinct from meningitis, though on clinical evaluation both can be present, with signs and symptoms of meningeal inflammation. It is also distinct from cerebritis.

Examples of viral infections that can cause encephalitis include herpes simplex virus (the virus that causes cold sores and genital herpes), varicella zoster virus (the chickenpox virus), mumps virus, measles virus and flu viruses.

Symptoms in milder cases of encephalitis usually include:
  • fever
  • headache
  • poor appetite
  • loss of energy
  • a general sick feeling
Symptoms in severe cases of encephalitis usually include:
  • severe headache
  • nausea and vomiting
  • stiff neck
  • confusion
  • disorientation
  • personality changes
  • convulsions (seizures)
  • problems with speech or hearing
  • hallucinations
  • memory loss
  • drowsiness
  • coma

Symptoms in severe cases of encephalitis usually include:
  • vomiting
  • a full or bulging soft spot (fontanel)
  • crying that doesn't stop or that seems worse when an infant is picked up or handled
  • body stiffness


Blood and urine tests that may be helpful include the following:
  • Complete blood count (CBC)
  • Serum electrolyte levels
  • Serum glucose level
  • Blood urea nitrogen (BUN) and creatinine levels
  • Urine electrolyte levels
  • Urine or serum toxicology screening

4 Nursing Diagnosis - Nursing Care Plan for Encephalitis :
  1. Ineffective Tissue Perfusion related to increased intracranial pressure.
  2. Acute pain related to the irritation of the brain lining.
  3. Risk for injury related to the seizures, altered mental status and decreased level of consciousness.
  4. Impaired physical mobility related to neuromuscular damage, decreased muscle strength, decreased consciousness, damage perception / cognitive.