Recovering from meningitis and septicaemia

Meningitis is a disease that can strike quickly, but its impact can change your life forever

Recovering from meningitis
Coming home from hospital

Leaving hospital after meningitis can be a worrying time and it is understandable that you might feel anxious about returning home. It is natural you will have questions and concerns about the recovery process but because we are here no-one has to suffer alone.

Our helpline is available to listen, answer your questions and offer information. Our dedicated community team works across the UK, and can visit you to explain how we can help.

What you should be offered when you leave hospital

All health professionals should be aware that after-effects of meningitis aren't always present straight away. Don't forget you can speak to your GP about any concerns about your recovery.

Anyone leaving hospital after meningitis should be given an individual plan for future treatment and care, as well as being made aware of what support is available.

Don't forget:

  • Ask for information and contact details for further care and patient support
  • The hospital should tell your GP, health visitor and school nurse (for children) that you have had meningitis
  • Hearing loss is a common after-effect of bacterial meningitis; it is vital that a hearing test is done within four weeks of being well enough to test
  • Everyone should be offered a follow-up appointment around four to six weeks after leaving hospital. This is to discuss how the recovery process is going and any potential complications you might be concerned about

For children we have ‘My Journal’, a resource that allows you to keep track of their recovery, follow-up appointments and continued care and support.

Serious and potential long-term after-effects of meningitis are usually identified whilst a person is still in hospital. In these cases, follow-up care and recovery will be unique to that person. 
  • Most people will make a good recovery from meningitis. However, for many, they recover from the acute phase of the illness only to find that whilst trying to get back to their everyday activities, they experience some difficulties
  • For survivors, persistent headaches, tiredness, memory problems, personality changes and depression are just some of the ‘hidden’ after-effects they can experience
  • Because the person seems to have visibly made a good recovery, it can be very difficult to make health professionals, family and friends understand that meningitis can still have a big impact on their lives and cause these ongoing problems
Back to work
For adults affected by meningitis, getting back to work can be a huge pressure. Most people find a gradual return to work allows them, and their employer, time to adjust.

Back to school
For children and adolescents, returning to education can be difficult. Many children struggle getting back to school life, trying to catch up with work missed and seeing friends again. Even with a good recovery, problems can occur as children grow and try to adapt to new environments. If you are concerned about your recovery, or possible complications, speak to your GP, or ask to be referred back to the hospital where you received your care.

We can help you
We have lots of resources on the different types of meningitis and their impact. These can help highlight the extent of the after-effects that you might be experiencing, so that others can understand what you are going through. Our free support services can help you rebuild your life after meningitis. Get in touch to find out more. Whatever your experience, whenever it was, we are here to support you.

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