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

  • Anxiety

May be related to

  • Threat to or change in health status of child
  • Threat to or change in environment [hospitalization of child]

Possibly evidenced by

  • Increased apprehension that condition of child might worsen
  • Expressed concern and worry about actual hospitalization of child and seriousness of illness

Dlevels tocomes

  • Parents will experience decreased anxiety
Nursing Interventions Rationale
Assess sources and level of anxiety, how anxiety is manifested, and need for information and support. Provides information about the need for interventions to relieve anxiety and concern; sources may include fear and uncertainty about treatment and recovery, guilt for  presence of illness, possible loss
of the parental role, and loss of responsibility when hospitalization necessary.
Assess parental feelings of guilt from not suspecting the seriousness of the illness sooner; encourage them to openly discuss feelings. Prevents or minimizes feelings of blame or guilt.
Encourage to express concerns and ask to express concerns and ask questions regarding the condition of ill child. Provides an opportunity to vent feelings, secure information needed to reduce anxiety.
Encourage the parent to stay with the child or visit when able and call when concerned if hospitalized; assist in care (hold, feed, bathe, clothe and diaper), and provide information about child’s daily routines. Allows parent to care for and support child instead of increasing anxiety if not with child.
Encourage to be involved in care and decision-making regarding needs. Promotes constant monitoring of child’s child’s condition for improvements or worsening of symptoms.
Teach about disease process and  behaviors, physical effects and symptoms of disease. Relieves anxiety of parents.
Explain the reason for procedures or type  of therapy, effects of any diagnostic tests (specify). Reduces fear of the unknown which  increases anxiety.
Teach parents about isolation precautions for at least 24 hours or until diagnosis is made and antibiotic therapy begins to take effect. Provides opportunity to validate type of meningitis and to take measures to prevent transmission to others in contact with child.
Clarify any misinformation and answer questions in lay terms when parents able to listen, give same explanation as other staff and/or physician gave regarding disease process and transmission. Prevents unnecessary anxiety resulting from inaccurate knowledge or beliefs or inconsistencies in information.

See Also

You may also like the following posts and care plans:

Pediatric Nursing Care Plans

Nursing care plans for pediatric conditions and diseases: 


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