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  • Meningitis
  • Haemophilus meningitis

  • 320 Bacterial meningitis
  • 320.0 Hemophilus meningitis
  • 321.0 Cryptococcal meningitis
  • 320.1 Pneumococcal meningitis
  • 320.2 Streptococcal meningitis
  • 320.3 Staphylococcal meningitis
  • 320.7 Meningitis in other bacterial diseases classified elsewhere
  • 320.89 Meningitis due to other specified bacteria

  • G00.9 Bacterial Meningitis
  • A48.8 Meningitis in other bacterial diseases classified elsewhere
  • G00.8 Meningitis due to other specified bacteria


  • Infection of the meninges of the brain and spinal cord caused by a spread of bacteria
  • Severity and extent causes a wide range of neurologic signs and symptoms, generally non-focal in nature

Essentials of Diagnosis

  • Bacterial meningitis is rare
  • Infection can result due to the following
  • Onset of symptoms is very rapid and considered a medical emergency
  • Commonly nosocomial or iatrogenic
  • No physical test distinguishes a bacterial from a viral infection; must rely on body fluid cultures
  • If a central nervous system infection is suspected, the therapist should seek information regarding a potential source of infection or a condition that pre-disposed the patient to infection

General Considerations

  • Bacterial meningitis is caused by a wide range of bacteria
    • Most common forms of meningitis include pneumococcal, influenza, and meningococcal worldwide; other bacteria cause meningitis but may be less common in some parts of the world
    • Hemophilus meningitis is caused by the Haemophilus influenzae bacteria (Hib)
      • Most common form of meningitis
      • Acquired most likely following an upper respiratory infection
      • Rare; mostly limited to secondary to vaccine


  • Approximately 3/100,000 in the United States; 500/100,000 in Africa2

Signs and Symptoms

  • Flu-like symptoms
  • Headache
  • Stiff neck
  • Skin rash
  • Change in mental status (confusion, delirium)
  • Fever or hypothermia
  • Malaise
  • Impaired heart, lung, liver, kidney function
  • Seizure, generalized convulsions
  • Sensory deficit/change
  • Motor deficit/change
  • With increased intracranial pressure, papilledema may develop
  • With prolonged infection, cranial nerves may become effected

Functional Implications

  • Loss of mobility temporarily with permanent loss possible
  • Loss of hearing/vestibular function in some cases
  • Loss of coordination (fine and gross motor) temporarily with permanent loss possible
  • Loss of independence with activities of daily living
  • Reduced cognitive function, particularly executive functions

Possible Contributing Causes

  • Severe sinus infection
  • Cranial or spinal surgery
  • Shunt placement
  • Open head injury
  • Diseases ...

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