In this section
Definition of Terms
Initial Assessment and Management
Ongoing Assessment and Management
Meningitis is a life threatening illness caused by infection and inflammation of the meninges. The infection can be caused by bacteria, a virus, fungus or other rare organisms such as parasites and amoeba.
Children with bacterial meningitis can become seriously ill very quickly. One in five children infected is left with permanent disabilities, such as deafness or cerebral palsy and in a small number of cases, meningitis can cause death.
Viral meningitis is more common, but it is less serious than bacterial meningitis.
The aim of this guideline is to outline the nursing care of an infant, child or young person with suspected or confirmed meningitis. This guideline has been staged, from initial assessment and management, which will occur most frequently in the emergency department, to ongoing assessments and management on the ward, as well as in the paediatric and neonatal intensive care areas.
This guideline should be read in conjunction with the Meningitis-encephalitis statewide clinical practice guideline.
Please refer to Nursing Assessment.
The evidence table for this guideline can be found here: Nursing Management of Meningitis Evidence Table 2019
Please remember to read the disclaimer.
The development of this nursing guideline was coordinated by Catherine Wood, CNS, Sugar Glider, and approved by the Nursing Clinical Effectiveness Committee. Updated November 2019.