7 Meningitis Nursing Care Plans

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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
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Deficient Knowledge

Nursing Diagnosis

May be related to

  • Lack of exposure to information.

Possibly evidenced by

  • Request for information about medications, signs and symptoms and behaviors to report
  • General care during convalescence of infant/child

Desired Outcomes

  • Parents verbalize understanding of cause and treatment plan.
Nursing Interventions Rationale
Assess knowledge of disease and method
to control and resolve disease; willingness and interest of parents to implement care.
Promotes plan of instruction that is realistic to ensure compliance with medical regimen; prevents a repetition of information.
Provide information and explanations in clear language that is understandable; use pictures, pamphlets, video tapes, model in
teaching about disease.
Ensures understanding based on readiness and ability to learn; visual aids reinforce learning.
Teach about administration of medications including (specify: action of drugs, dosages times frequency, side effects, expected results, methods to give
medications); provide written instructions and schedule to follow and inform to administer full course of antibiotic to child.
Provides information for compliance in medication therapy to prevent or treat infection and seizure activity resulting from the disease; bacterial meningitis is treated with antibiotics, and viral  meningitis may be treated with antibiotics until diagnosis is established.
Assist to plan feedings and/or develop menus to include nourishing fluids,
caloric and basic four groups for age group.
Promotes optimal nutrition in a progressive manner as tolerable.
Reinforce to parents follow up to assess for potential hearing impairment. Promotes identification of hearing loss (injury to 8th cranial nerve caused by meningitis).
Inform parents as to the benefits of  routine immunizations with H. influenzae (type B) vaccine, beginning at 2 months of age for a total of 3 doses. May prevent the disease; data suggests the incidence of this form of meningitis has decreased since the vaccine was introduced; may decrease the spread of infection to unvaccinated infants.
Teach to promote adequate rest and
activities that provide age-appropriate play and stimulation (specify).
Rest important for convalescence and stimulating activities needed for continued development or to promote stimulation if developmental lag is present.
Teach to isolate other children in the family for 24 hours if respiratory infection present or until the culture is negative. Prevents transmission of bacteria to others in the family.
Teach to report elevated temperature,  poor feeding or anorexia, irritability or other changes in behavior or level of consciousness, decrease in hearing acuity. Reveals signs and symptoms of presence of or spread of infection.
Administer antibiotics as prescribed
(specify) as soon as ordered based
on analysis of CSF, throat cultures.
Manages existing infection and prevents further spread of infection (action of drug).
Provide stool softeners or mild laxative, avoid use of restraints and prevent or reduce crying episodes. Prevents constipation and lessen the risk of increased ICP due to straining from defecation.
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See Also

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Pediatric Nursing Care Plans


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