8 Meningitis Nursing Care Plans

Use this nursing care plan and management guide to help care for patients with meningitis. Learn about the nursing assessment, nursing interventions, goals and nursing diagnosis for meningitis in this guide.

What is Meningitis?

Meningitis is the inflammation of the meninges of the brain and spinal cord as a result of either bacteria, viral or fungal infection. Bacterial infections may be caused by Haemophilus influenzae type b, Neisseria meningitidis (meningococcal meningitis), and Streptococcus pneumoniae (pneumococcal meningitis). Those at greatest risk for this disease are infants between 6 and 12 months of age with most cases occurring between 1 month and 5 years of age. The most common route of infection is vascular dissemination from an infection in the nasopharynx or sinuses, or one implanted as a result of wounds, skull fracture, lumbar puncture, or surgical procedure. Viral (aseptic) meningitis is caused by a variety of viral agents and usually associated with measles, mumps, herpes, or enteritis. This form of meningitis is self-limiting and treated symptomatically for 3 to 10 days.

Treatment includes hospitalization to differentiate between the two types of meningitis, isolation and management of symptoms, and prevention of complications.

Nursing Care Plans and Management

Nursing care plan goals for a child with meningitis include attaining adequate cerebral tissue perfusion through a reduction in ICP, maintaining normal body temperature, protection against injury, enhancing coping measures, accurate perception of environmental stimuli, restoring normal cognitive functions, and prevention of complications.

Nursing Problem Priorities

The following are the nursing priorities for patients with meningitis:

  • Recognize and assess signs and symptoms of meningitis.
  • Facilitate prompt medical evaluation and initiation of appropriate treatment.
  • Monitor vital signs and neurological status regularly.
  • Administer prescribed antibiotics or antiviral medications as directed.
  • Manage symptoms and provide supportive care, such as pain relief or fluid management.
  • Collaborate with healthcare providers to coordinate diagnostic tests, such as lumbar puncture or imaging studies.
  • Educate patients and families on the nature of meningitis, treatment options, and the importance of vaccination.
  • Monitor for and manage potential complications, such as seizures or neurological deficits.
  • Implement infection control measures to prevent transmission in the healthcare setting.
  • Offer emotional support and counseling to patients and families during the recovery process.
Paul Martin R.N. brings his wealth of experience from five years as a medical-surgical nurse to his role as a nursing instructor and writer for Nurseslabs, where he shares his expertise in nursing management, emergency care, critical care, infection control, and public health to help students and nurses become the best version of themselves and elevate the nursing profession.

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