7 Meningitis Nursing Care Plans


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

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

Here are seven (7) nursing care plans (NCP) and nursing diagnosis (NDx) for meningitis:

  1. Ineffective Tissue Perfusion (Cerebral)
  2. Hyperthermia
  3. Acute Pain
  4. Disturbed Sensory Perception
  5. Anxiety
  6. Deficient Knowledge
  7. Risk for Injury


Nursing Diagnosis

  • Hyperthermia

May be related to

  • Infection
  • Abnormal temperature regulation

Possibly evidenced by

  • Body temperature above the normal range
  • Hot, flushed skin
  • Increased heart rate
  • Increased respiratory rate
  • Seizures

Desired Outcomes

  • Child will regain and maintain body temperature within a normal range.
Nursing InterventionsRationale
Assess the child’s vital signs closely.A history of aseptic viral meningitis usually begins with an onset of fever up to 104°F. As hyperthermia progresses, HR and BP increase also.
Assess for signs of dehydration such as dry mouth, sunken eyes, sunken fontanelle, low concentrated urine output.Elevated body temperature increases the metabolic rate, hence increases the insensible fluid loss.
Gradually decrease temperature.Shivering can happen from rapid reduction of temperature which can result to rebound effect and increase the temperature instead lower the temperature.
Perform tepid sponge.Decreases temperature by liberating heat by conduction and convection.
Maintain adequate fluid intake as tolerated.Prevents dehydration; Avoid fluid overload because of the risk of cerebral edema.
Administer antibiotics as indicated.Antibiotics are given to treat the underlying causes of inflammation and thus prevent the occurrence of seizure activity.
Administer antipyretics as indicated.Antipyretics decrease fever and lessen brain oxygen demand as fever increases cerebral metabolic demand.

Recommended Resources

Recommended nursing diagnosis and nursing care plan books and resources.

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See also

Other recommended site resources for this nursing care plan:

Other nursing care plans related to neurological disorders:

Paul Martin is a registered nurse with a bachelor of science in nursing since 2007. Having worked as a medical-surgical nurse for five years, he handled different kinds of patients and learned how to provide individualized care to them. Now, his experiences working in the hospital is carried over to his writings to help aspiring students achieve their goals. He is currently working as a nursing instructor and have a particular interest in nursing management, emergency care, critical care, infection control, and public health. As a writer at Nurseslabs, his goal is to impart his clinical knowledge and skills to students and nurses helping them become the best version of themselves and ultimately make an impact in uplifting the nursing profession.
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