Meningitis is inflammation of the protective membranes covering the brain and spinal cord, known collectively as the meninges. The inflammation may be caused by infection with viruses, bacteria, or other microorganisms, and less commonly by certain drugs. Meningitis can be life-threatening because of the inflammation's proximity to the brain and spinal cord; therefore the condition is classified as a medical emergency. The most common symptoms of meningitis are headache and neck stiffness associated with fever, confusion or altered consciousness, vomiting, and an inability to tolerate light (photophobia) or loud noises (phonophobia).
In adults, a severe headache is the most common symptom of meningitis – occurring in almost 90% of cases of bacterial meningitis, followed by nuchal rigidity (inability to flex the neck forward passively due to increased neck muscle tone and stiffness). Nuchal rigidity occurs in 70% of adult cases of bacterial meningitis. Other signs of meningism include the presence of positive Kernig's sign or Brudzinski's sign. Kernig's sign is assessed with the patient lying supine, with the hip and knee flexed to 90 degrees. In a patient with a positive Kernig's sign, pain limits passive extension of the knee. A positive Brudzinski's sign occurs when flexion of the neck causes involuntary flexion of the knee and hip. Although Kernig's and Brudzinski's signs are both commonly used to screen for meningitis, the sensitivity of these tests is limited.
Our group decided to take this particular case because based in our knowledge before; meningitis can be acquired through a head injury or contusion. We became more interested with the case as we get hold of the patient’s chart. Then we found out that meningitis has lots of origin or roots. And as we go on with her chart, we found the three common signs of meningitis, the nuchal rigidity, headache and fever. We want to have more background and knowledge about this disease, because there... [continues]
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