The main symptoms and possible consequences of purulent meningitis

1 Characteristics of the disease

Purulent meningitis in children and adults is provoked by ingestion of bacteria and fungi. This feature distinguishes it from the serous form of the disease, provoked by the activity of viruses in 80-90% of cases.

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The most common inflammation of the bacterial nature, fungal meningitis occurs in people with significantly reduced immunity( in AIDS, after chemotherapy).

The primary and secondary forms are distinguished by the origin of the disease. At the primary form the infection enters the brain tissue directly, secondary purulent meningitis is characterized by the development of the inflammatory process against the background of another disease( sinusitis, otitis, etc.).

The most common pathogens of meningitis:

  • in newborns: E. coli, group B streptococci, Listeria;
  • in children under 18 years of age and in adults: staphylococci, pneumococci, meningococci, streptococci.

Most often, infection occurs by airborne droplets. Also, contact transmission of infection through open trauma or during surgical operations with the use of non-sterile instruments is possible.

The peak incidence( about half the cases) falls on the age of up to 5 years, in older people, meningitis is diagnosed significantly less often.

2 The main signs of the disease

The incubation period during which the disease does not manifest itself depends on the pathogen and the state of human immunity. It can last from 4-5 hours to one week.

There are several characteristic symptoms of purulent meningitis that are expressed in the changes in the muscle tone characteristic of this disease:

  • Kering's symptom: if you bend the legs of a person in your knees and hip joint by 90 degrees, you will not be able to fully unbend them.
  • Symptom of Brudzinsky: when you bring your chin to your chest, your knees bend involuntarily.
  • Bechterew's symptom: when you tap on the zygomatic arch, the musculature of the face shrinks.

The patient strives to adopt a position that will minimize intracranial pressure. To do this, he lies down on one side, tilts his head and presses his legs to the trunk. He can also take a "tripod's pose", in which a person does not lie on his back, but leans on his elbows.

As the disease develops, the person's reaction to external stimuli weakens, eyesight and hearing deteriorate, appetite is lost, and the patient may be tormented by a strong thirst. On 3-4 days there is sound and photophobia.

The rash most often occurs in newborns. It takes the form of red vesicles that appear on the skin or on the mucous membranes of the mouth.

One of the main signs of meningitis is a painful headache.

People at a conscious age can point to its source, an indicator of its presence in newborns is a continuous cry. Pain increases with pressure on the middle of the forehead, upper lip, external auditory canal.

Dysfunction of digestion is manifested by constant vomiting fountain. It is caused by the influence of increased intracranial pressure on the corresponding center of the brain. Liquid stool and other forms of dyspepsia are less common.

There is a significant increase in body temperature up to 39-40 degrees. This symptom is accompanied by dehydration, muscle weakness, convulsions.

In humans, there are common signs of infectious diseases: sore throat, runny nose, cough. Most often they occur if secondary meningitis is diagnosed.

If the disease passes into severe forms, the patient has periodic epileptic seizures, increases blood pressure, manifested tachycardia and bradycardia.

3 Possible risks of

The most dangerous consequence of purulent meningitis is the lethal outcome of .

Modern medicines can eliminate the disease before it begins to pose a threat to human life, but this requires timely action. Most often, death occurs because the treatment was started too late.

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But lethal outcome is not excluded and with proper and timely therapy: its probability is from 1 to 20 percent depending on the pathogen.

There are also consequences that significantly impair the quality of human life. This includes:

  • Psychomotor development delay.
  • Paralysis( including cerebral palsy).
  • Deterioration or complete loss of vision and hearing.
  • Memory impairment.
  • Epilepsy.
  • Edema of the brain.
  • Hydrocephalus.
  • Behavioral disorders( depression, anxiety, autism, etc.).

Such disorders of nervous activity, worsening cognitive abilities and distorting the perception of the world, occur only in a few percent of cases with the proper treatment of meningitis. But if it was untimely, then the probability of their manifestation is significantly increased.

Minor impairments, such as memory impairment, slight reduction in visual acuity and hearing, behavioral disorder, are more common and temporary. To get rid of them and return to normal as soon as possible, patients after treatment of meningitis are referred to rehabilitation centers. Rehabilitation courses include supportive drug therapy, physiotherapy, gymnastics and psychological help.

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4 Conclusion and conclusions

More than half of cases of meningitis infection occur in children under 5 years, which is due to the weakness of their immune system. The nervous system in children is also in the formative stage, so severe infectious brain lesions manifest severe symptoms and can carry dangerous consequences right up to a lethal outcome. But adults are not immune from infection with meningitis.

Only timely treatment allows to minimize the risks of manifestation of unavoidable consequences, and for the prompt removal of temporary cognitive and behavioral disorders it is desirable to undergo a rehabilitation course.

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