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Meningitis - Page 1

A 14-year old male complained to his parents of feeling quite ill with a headache, dizziness, nausea, and feeling very weak. After a rise in his body temperature, an increase in the severity of his headache, and the development of a rash, his mother took him into their medical clinic where he was examined by a family nurse practitioner (FNP). Upon examination, the FNP noted the patient also complained of a stiffness in his neck and nausea. The patient had a temperature of 103.5 and an increased heart rate. She noted a rash had developed on parts of the patient's extremities and wrists. Concerned with meningitis, she consulted the clinic's family practice physician and asked her to examine the patient.

Upon his examination, a complete blood count (CBC), blood for culture and lumbar puncture(LP) were performed since there was a strong clinical suspicion of bacterial meningitis. The LP examination included tests for the presence of bacteria (Gram stain), cell count and differential, glucose and protein. A culture of the fluid is also a standard test and detects the type of bacteria, if any, that may be present. Radiology was called to perform a CAT scan on the patient.

  • 1. Which health professional would perform the lumbar puncture?
  • 2. Which health professional would examine the CSF fluid?

View Meningitis: Signs, Symptoms, Risk Factors video and answer the following questions:

  • 3. What is meningitis?
  • 4. List 2 types of meningitis. Which of these is more severe?
  • 5. How is meningitis transmitted?
  • 6. Who is most at risk for contracting meningitis?
  • 7. What are common symptoms of meningitis?
  • 8. What are possible short and long-term complications of meningitis?

View a student's meningitis story video (this one is worth watching)