Meningitis is acute inflammation of the meningeal tissues that surround…
Meningitis is acute inflammation of the meningeal tissues that surround the brain and spinal cord
Bacterial Meningitis is caused by streptococcus pneumoniae and Neisseria meningitidis which enter the CNS through the respiratory tract or blood stream or through direct penetration wounds of the skull
Signs and Symptoms include fever, headache, nausea, vomiting, neck stiffness, decreased LOC, photophobia seizures, skin rash, weakness ataxia or paralysis
Treatment: Bacterial meningitis requires rapid diagnosis and when suspected antibiotic therapy should begin after cultures are taken this should happen even before a confirmed diagnosis.
Commonly used antibiotics include: Ampicillin, penicillin, vancomycin, cefuroxime, ceftriaxone and ceftazidime
Codeine can be given for the headache and dexamethasone is commonly administered with the first dose of antibiotics, paracetamol should be given to reduce temperature.
Replacement fluids can be used to correct diaphoresis
Enteral nutrition can be used to ensure necessary nutritional intake
Have the patient remain in a low lighting area as this can reduce hallucinations if they are delirious and environmental stimuli should be reduced
Manage ICP by using antiseizure medications and do not reduce the temperature to quickly as shivering can increased ICP
Viral Meningitis is a type of meningitis due to a viral infection resulting in inflammation of the meninges and is most commonly caused by entero-viruses, arboviruses, human immunodeficiency virus and herpes simplex virus
Enteroviruses are most commonly spread through direct contact with respiratory secretions
Signs and Symptoms include fever, headache, photophobia, a stiff neck and malaise
Treatment of viral meningitis should include beginning with a lumbar puncture to observe the CSF which is normally clear or cloudy, antibiotics should then be administered even before results and should be managed symptomatically with supportive care and rest
Encephalitis is an acute inflammation of the brain usually caused by a virus, which is a febrile illness causing inflammation of the nervous tissue as opposed to viral meningitis which is inflammation of the meninges
Encephalitis causing viruses can be associated with the time of the year or certain geographical areas. Ticks and mosquitoes commonly transmit epidemic encephalitis such as Murray Valley encephalitis and Japanese encephalitis.
Non-epidemic encephalitis can occur as a complication of measles, chickenpox or mumps.
Herpes Simplex Virus is the most common cause of acute non-epidemic encephalitis
Encephalitis can also occur following vaccinations that have a encephalitis component such as MMR
Signs and Symptoms include widespread nerve degeneration, oedema, necrosis, fever, headache, nausea and vomiting
Signs and Symptoms normally appear on day 2 or 3 and can vary in severity from minimal mental status alterations to coma. Begins as flu like symptoms,
Treatment Options: early diagnosis and treatment are essential. This includes examining the CSF which is normally clear compared to bacterial meningitis where it is cloudy or viral where it can either be clear or cloudy. Blood cultures should be taken and glucose levels should remain normal whereas bacterial meningitis sees a decreased glucose level. There is also a slight increase in protein that is not seen in the other types of menigitis
If cause by HSV antiviral medications such as aciclovir can be used
Intensive care is required and ICP should be monitored, antiseizure medications can be given