Archive for the ‘Meningitis’ Category

Second Lehigh Meningitis Case Reported

Monday, November 28th, 2011

Lehigh University officials have announced that at least two students have contracted meningitis this month. The University is now recommending that all students take preventative antibiotics, even if they have been vaccinated. Antibiotics are also available for faculty and staff at the University.

Meningitis is a serious condition that causes the membranes surrounding the brain and/or spinal cord to become inflamed. It can be fatal. Anyone in the Lehigh community who experiences symptoms of meningitis such as headaches, vomiting, rash, fever or stiff neck should seek immediate medical attention.

We express our best wishes for a full and fast recovery to the students diagnosed with meningitis and we hope that no new cases of Lehigh meningitis develop after the Thanksgiving break.

Can Bacterial Meningitis Come Back?

Thursday, December 30th, 2010

Unfortunately, it is possible to get bacterial meningitis more than once.    Bacterial meningitis can be caused by different subtypes of the meningococcal bacterium and a person may be susceptible to the various strains even if the person has already suffered from the disease or been vaccinated.

For this reason, it is important not to let your guard down if you have already had bacterial meningitis.  Remember to be vigilant so that you don’t put yourself at risk of suffering the serious consequences of bacterial meningitis a second time.

Bacterial Meningitis Contagious Period

Tuesday, December 21st, 2010

Suffering from bacterial meningitis is bad enough.  The last thing that you want to do is to spread this dangerous illness to another person.  For that reason, it is important to understand some important facts about the bacterial meningitis contagious period.

According to the CDC, certain forms of bacterial meningitis are contagious.  The sickness can be spread through oral or respiratory secretions.   Therefore, a sneeze, a cough or a kiss could become potentially dangerous.

The exact bacterial meningitis contagious period depends on both the type of bacteria causing the illness and the treatment that the person with bacterial meningitis receives.  Bacterial meningitis may become contagious as early as 1 -2 weeks before a person develops symptoms.  That means that the person with the disease can unknowingly pass it on.  The contagious period can continue for a few months if the person is not treated.  However, a person with bacterial meningitis is generally not contagious after 24 -48 hours of antibiotic treatment.

Understanding Lumbar Puncture Tests Results for Bacterial Meningitis

Friday, December 17th, 2010

Many doctors use lumbar puncture tests, also known as spinal taps, to test for bacterial meningitis.  Lumbar puncture tests collect spinal fluid from around the brain and spinal cord and analyze its appearance, protein levels, glucose levels, cell counts, and the presence of infectious organisms.

Some results that might cause doctors to be concerned about bacterial meningitis include:

  • Cloudy spinal cord fluid;
  • High spinal cord fluid pressure;
  • An increase in spinal cord fluid antibodies;
  • Low glucose levels in the spinal cord fluid;
  • High white blood cell counts in the spinal cord fluid; and
  • Bacterial markers in the spinal cord fluid.

If your doctor has ordered a spinal tap, be sure to review the spinal tap test results with your doctor and ask questions about the markers or concerns described above.  If your doctor has failed to properly diagnose your bacterial meningitis then you may be entitled to damages.  Contact a Pennsylvania medical malpractice lawyer today for more information about your rights.

Bacterial Meningitis Long Term Side Effects

Thursday, December 9th, 2010

The prognosis for a bacterial meningitis recovery depends on a number of factors including how quickly treatment was provided.  In serious cases of bacterial meningitis where proper diagnosis was delayed or treatment was not provided in a timely manner, a patient may suffer from*:

  • Deafness or speech loss;
  • Blindness;
  • Permanent brain damage ;
  • Permanent nerve damage;
  • Behavioral changes;
  • Cognitive disabilities;
  • Lack of muscle control;
  • Seizures; and
  • Memory loss.

These complications can occur in adults or in children.  It is, therefore, essential to recognize the infection symptoms, which can be vague flu like symptoms, and seek proper treatment as soon as possible.  Patients who suffer from any of the long term complications described above may need ongoing medical and rehabilitation treatment.

*Source: National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke: Meningitis and Encephalitis Fact Sheet