The meninges surround both the brain and the spinal cord to provide cushion and protection as well as create cerebrospinal fluid. In meningitis, these meninges get infected and inflamed, causing symptoms that range from altered level of consciousness (due to inflammation in the brain) to nuchal rigidity or numbness & tingling (because of the effect on the spinal cord).
Meningitis can be caused by bacteria or viruses, which can be introduced via the bloodstream as well as through invasive procedures or fractures of the skull. Transmission is via droplets and usually occurs in areas of population density or crowded living spaces such as college dorms, prisons, and homeless shelters.
Treat the underlying infection, decrease inflammation and swelling in the brain, and prevent long-term neurological deficits.
Meningitis is spread via droplets, therefore a mask, gown, and gloves should be worn at all times and all surfaces should be cleaned thoroughly
To alleviate headache or nuchal rigidity caused by inflammation.
Many antibiotics cannot cross the blood brain barrier, but will be given to treat any bloodstream infection. Antivirals can be given as well.
Inflammation of the meninges can cause irritation of the brain tissue and swelling, which can cause decreased LOC.
If there is enough hydrocephalus or edema, providers may place an EVD for ICP monitoring. If so, monitor ICP and CPP hourly and manage EVD.
Inflammation of the meninges can cause irritation of the nerves and brain tissue, leading to development of seizures.
Handwashing is imperative, considering droplet transmission. Family members should also wash their hands on the way in and out of the room. Patients should report any s/s infection
For more information, visit www.nursing.com/cornell
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