Have a high index of suspicion for meningitis in adults.



Gaillemin, Olivier and McGill, Fiona
(2016) Have a high index of suspicion for meningitis in adults. The Practitioner, 260 (1795). 25 - 30.

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Abstract

Bacterial meningitis and meningococcal sepsis are rare in adults. Any diagnostic delays with subsequent delay to treatment can have disastrous consequences. The decline in bacterial meningitis over the past few decades has not been accompanied by a reduction in case fatality rate which can be as high as 20% for all causes of bacterial meningitis and 30% in pneumococcal meningitis. The classic triad of neck stiffness, fever and altered consciousness is present in < 50% of cases of bacterial meningitis. Patients with viral meningitis also present with signs of meningism (headache, neck stiffness and photophobia) possibly with additional non-specific symptoms such as diarrhoea or sore throat. Suspected cases of meningitis or meningococcal sepsis must be referred for further assessment and consideration of a lumbar puncture. Most patients will fully recover. However, the sequelae of bacterial meningitis and meningococcal disease can be disabling. Many patients feel well at discharge and do not realise that they may not be able to return to all their normal duties and activities straightaway. Fatigue, headaches, sleep disorders and emotional problems are often reported in the weeks and months after discharge.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Humans, Neisseria meningitidis, Meningitis, Bacterial, Sepsis, Seizures, Consciousness Disorders, Headache, Cognition Disorders, Adult, Referral and Consultation, Female, Male
Depositing User: Symplectic Admin
Date Deposited: 20 Feb 2018 10:41
Last Modified: 09 Jan 2021 05:44
URI: https://livrepository.liverpool.ac.uk/id/eprint/3018254