Meningitis


Meningitis is a viral or bacterial infeection of the membranes arounf the spinal cord and brain. Viral and bacterial meningitis affects the Central Nervous System, and is incredibly painful, and makes the person feel really sick.

The CNS (Central Nervous System) is protected from the outside better than the respiratory or digestive system, and has the protection of semi permeable membranes with no direct contact from the environment.

Possible routes for infections to the nervous system enter via the blood stream are:

From the nose and the eyes

Complications of meningitis can include:

  • Hearing loss
  • Seizures
  • Memory problems
  • Vision loss (total or partial)
  • A general infection in the blood eg vireamia or septicaemia

For a general infection:

Once the micro – organism has already invaded a different system, it is easier to enter the Central Nervous System, making multiple causative micro-organisms for meninigitis, thus making it important to understand the cause before medical treatment can be effective. Nursing of a meningitis patients however starts as soon as interaction with the patient starts.  

There have also been cases of amputations and arthritis although these are less often, and with more severe infections. 

There are two main groups of meningitis

 


Causative agent


Infectious time

 

Viral

Other

encephalomyo-carditis virus already in the system:

Enterviruses

Mumps virus

Arbovirus

Herpes virus

Depends on the causative agent

 

Bacterial

Meningococcal Meningitis

 

Neisseria meningitidis

 

E Coli

Streptococcus pneumonae

24 – 48 hours after effective antibiotic treatment has been started the person is no longer infectious

 

 

While N. Meningitidis is still found in nasal and throat secretions

 

 

 

 

 

 

Treatment and support for complications from Meningitis:

It is important to understand that these are POSSIBLE complications, not definite. If they occur, then it is highly traumatic for the person, and they and the family need support an care.

Possible support needed:

Cochlear implants for deafness

Counselling

Practical help for issues like epilepsy and amputations, where wheelchairs might be needed. 

Vision areas - contact SANCB and SA Guide dogs for information on studying while visually impaired, technical devices used for helping use computers. 

 

 

 

 

 


     PROTECT 

     PREPARE

     EDUCATE     

         CARE

            


 


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Nursing education RSA

Disclaimer: 

This site in no way substitutes medical advice given by a
medical practitioner and is meant as supporting information only.
The information is not intended for harm, to be seen as diagnosis,
or treatment but is infomrational only. Harm may result in ignoring medical
help and treatment, or in the neglecting of the medical treatment given/suggested
to you by your medical practitioner. The staff of the website intend the information
as informational  and supportive only,
and do not endorse self medication or ignoring medical advice.