NCLEX Bacterial Meningitis Overview

NCLEX Bacterial Meningitis Overview


NCLEX Bacterial Meningitis

NCLEX Bacterial Meningitis Overview

In this featured article, we will focus primarily on Bacterial Meningitis.  Although there are other forms forms of meningitis, bacterial meningitis poses the biggest threat.  

Bacterial Meningitis Overview

Meningitis is an infection of the membranes (meninges) surrounding the brain and spinal cord. Meningitis can be caused by a bacterial, fungal or viral infection. Meningitis can be acute, with a quick onset of symptoms, it can be chronic, lasting a month or more, or it can be mild or aseptic. Anyone experiencing symptoms of meningitis should see a doctor immediately.

Acute bacterial meningitis is the most common form of meningitis. Approximately 80 percent of all cases are acute bacterial meningitis. Bacterial meningitis can be life threatening. The infection can cause the tissues around the brain to swell. This in turn interferes with blood flow and can result in paralysis or even stroke.

NCLEX Bacterial Meningitis Signs and Symptoms

  • Sudden high fever
  • Stiff neck
  • Severe headache that seems different than normal
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Confusion, Seizures
  • Sleepiness or difficulty waking up
  • Sensitivity to light
  • No appetite or thirst
  • Skin rash

NCLEX Bacterial Meningitis Causes

  • Streptococcus pneumoniae (pneumococcus)
  • Neisseria meningitidis
  • Haemophilus influenza
  • Listeria monocytogenes

NCLEX Bacterial Meningitis Risk Factors

  • Skipping Vaccinations
  • Age – more common when <20 y/o
  • Living in a community setting – college life
  • Pregnancy
  • Compromised immune system – AIDS

NCLEX Bacterial Meningitis Complications

  • Hearing loss
  • Memory difficulty
  • Learning disabilities
  • Brain damage
  • Gait problems
  • Seizures
  • Kidney failure
  • Shock and death

NCLEX Bacterial Meningitis Diagnosis

  • Positive Blood cultures
  • CT scan or MRI, X-rays
  • Lumbar puncture

NCLEX Bacterial Meningitis Treatment

Acute bacterial meningitis must be treated with antibiotics and more recently corticosteroids.  The antibiotics or combination of antibiotics depends on the type of bacteria causing the infection.

We currently offer a variety of courses for the NCLEX national exam.  If you are looking for review questions; choose the NCLEX Predictor Exam, NCLEX Question Bank or NCLEX Practice Questions bundle.  Looking for sample questions and lectures; choose the NCLEX Review, NCLEX Online Review or the NCLEX Review Course Bundle.    

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