Meningitis is inflammation of the meninges, the membranes you find covering the brain and the spinal cord. The most common cause of this is infection, this can be bacterial or viral in origin and can only be truly diagnosed by hospital tests. If meningitis is suspected the patient will have the diagnosis confirmed using a lumber puncture test. A lumber puncture is carried out by inserting a fine needle, under local anaesthetic, into the patients spine to draw out CSF that can then be examined for any signs of the infection

Signs and Symptoms

Babies and Toddlers 

Children and Adults

* A patient with meningitis who has a non blanching rash is in an advanced stage of the illness and will need to be transported to hospital rapidly as the rash could indicate the patient has septicaemia and this needs to be treated with IV antibiotics.

What Causes The Rash?

The rash is caused by blood leaking from the capillaries into the body tissue under the skin. It may be noticed initially as petechiae or large bruise like markings. Septicaemia is a potentially life-threatening infection in which large amounts of bacteria are present in the blood. Septicaemia and Meningitis are 2 different conditions, in the case of bacterial Meningitis the infection can enter the circulatory system thus poisoning the blood and causing septicaemia. 



O2 therapy, Paracetamol to bring down a temperature, if you're with a paramedic then they may administer penicillin, if unconscious then treat as necessary (e.g. Positioning, Suction, Airway Adjuncts), Also the patient may experience seizures, again treat as you would for a fitting patient. 

Secondary Survey


Transport to Hospital 

Professional Handover

More Info:

NHS Direct

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