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Flashcards in ID Emergencies Deck (38)
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1. Meninges are made up of what? 3
2. Meningitis affects which parts of the brain? 3

1. Meninges is made up of the
-dura maters

2. Meningitis affects the
-subarachnoid space and


Etiology for meningitis
1. MC bacterial causes? 3
2. MC viral causes? 6
3. MC fungal causes? 1
4. MC noninfectious causes? 5

1. Bacterial
-Streptococcus pneumoniae
-Neisseria meningitidis
-Haemophilis influenzae

2. Viral
-West Nile,

3. Fungal
-Cryptococcus (most common)

4. Noninfectious
-brain abscess,
-subdural empyema,
-pharmacologic reaction


Can be community acquired or healthcare associated
1. Community acquired? 4
2. Healthcare associated? 2

1. Community acquired
-Streptococcus pneumoniae
-Neisseria meningitidis
-Haemophilis influenzae
-Listeria monocytogenes (immune compromised)

2. Healthcare associated
-Staphlococci and
-aerobic gram negative bacilli


Meningitis symptoms
1. Onset?
2. Classic triad?
3. Other symptoms? 7
4. Median duration of symptoms before presentation?
5. What is petechial rash associated with?

1. Abrupt onset
2. Classic triad:
-nuchal rigidity,
-change in mental status

-Intense headache
Other symptoms:
-joint pain,

4. Median duration of symptoms before presentation 24 h (bacterial)

5. Petechial rash is associated with N. Meningitidis


Diagnosing CNS infections in the elderly
1. Difficult to initially separate meningitis from what?
2. Both present with what?
3. Elderly with meningitis are less likely to have what symptom?

4. Any infection can cause what in the elderly?
5. Red flags? 5

1. encephalitis
2. both present with mental status changes
3. elderly with meningitis less likely to have fever

4. Any infection can cause delirium in the elderly

5. Red flags:
-Behavioral changes/personality changes
-Lack of other source of infection
-Headache, nuchal rigidity, exposure to infected persons
-Low threshold to do LP


Who needs a head CT prior to LP?

Proceed to head CT prior to LP if any of the following are present at baseline:

1. Immunocompromised
2. History of seizure within one week prior to presentation
3. Any of the following neurologic abnormalitie
4. Mandatory in patients with possible focal infection


Who needs a head CT before the LP: Any of the following neurologic abnormalities? 5

1. Abnormal level of consciousness
2. History of CNS disease (mass lesion, stroke, or focal infection)
3. Papilledema
4. Abnormal level of consciousness
5. Focal neurologic deficit


Lumbar puncture in meningitis
1. Any evidence of papilledema or focal neuro findings, DO NOT perform LP before you get a STAT CT to rule out what?

2. Perform LP immediately in the absense of what? 2

1. significant ICP (or herniation of brainstem may occur during LP)

-Focal neuro findings


Meningitis work up

1. Blood cultures, CBC, and Chem 7
2. Send CSF to lab for cell count, gram stain, culture, glucose and total protein
3. As soon as LP is completed (before labs are even back) give 2 G Rocephin (Ceftriaxone) IV
4. All are admitted and Rocephin is continued at 2G IV q12h
5. Many even with proper, rapid treatment will die or have permanent CNS deficits


Send CSF to lab for cell count, gram stain, culture, glucose and total protein
1. Any what on gram stain is diagnostic?
2. What WBC count is diagnostic for meningitis?
3. CSF glucose less than what is suggestive?

1. ANY (+) Gram stain is diagnostic
2. WBC in CSF > 1000 if PMNs make up 85% is diagnostic
3. CSF glucose less than 50% of serum glucose is suggestive


CSF Normal Values
1. Pressure?
2. Appearance?
3. CSF total protein?
4. CSF glucose?
5. CSF cell count?
6. Chloride?

1. Pressure: 70 - 180 mm H20
2. Appearance: clear, colorless
3. CSF total protein: 15-45 mg/100 mL
4. CSF glucose: 50-80 mg/100 mL (or greater than 2/3 of blood sugar level)
5, CSF cell count: 0-5 white blood cells (all mononuclear), and no red blood cells
6. Chloride: 110-125 mEq/L


1. Bacterial meningitis occurs more frequently between age?
2. Uncommon to develop meningitis from OM and spread is not from direct extension but from what?

3. What may be the only clues in young infants? 2

4. Paradoxical irritability is suggestive of meningitis. What is this?

1. 2 months-2 years

2. systemic spread

-poor feeding

4. (crying worsens when being held)


Most common meningitis etiologic agents in pediatrics
1. MC? 3
2. In neonates?
3. Primary prevention of meningitis? 3

-Streptococcus pneumoniae (pneumococcus)
-Neisseria meningitidis (meningococcus)
-H. influenzae Type B (due to the vaccine now is a rare cause but used to be the most common)

2. In neonates consider gram – causes and Group B Strep

3. Primary prevention of meningitis
-S. pneumoniae vaccine
-H. influenzae vaccine
-Meningococcal vaccine is available for adolescents and adults


What are the following lab values for the normal CSF fluid:
1. White cells?
2. % neutrophils?
3. CSF Glucose?
4. Blood glucose?
5. Protein?

1. 5
2. 1%
3. 65
4. 85
5. 21

Normal. The normal number of WBCs in the CSF depends upon the age of the patient. The younger and more immature the infant is, the high the value is. CSF glucose vale depends upon the value of glucose in the blood and upon the integrity of the blood brain barrier. In pts with normal meninges the CSF value is usually about 75% of the blood level. When the meninges become inflamed, the active transport of glucose across the blood brain barrier becomes altered an dthe ratio drops proportionately to the degree of inflammation. Most viral meningitis produce less chanes than bacterial meningitis accordingly CSF glucose values are lower in bacterial meningitis.


What does the following LP suggest?
1. White cells- 1243?
2. % neutrophils-94%?
3. CSF Glucose- 23?
4. Blood glucose- 78?
5. Protein-62

Bacterial Meningitis

Bacterial. Cases of early viral meningitis can present with an increased number of cells and neutrophils but usually the CSF glucose is normal or not lower than 40% of serum glucose.


What does the following LP suggest?

% neutrophils- 86%
CSF Glucose- 47
Blood glucose- 90
Protein- 49

Fungal meningitis?

CSF is inconclusive. The high percentage of neutrophils indicates that bacterial meningitis is possible. It would be wise to administer abx until more information can be obtained. The gram stain result will be helpful. If it is positive for organisms, then this indicates bacterial meningitis. If the gram stain is negative, bacterial meningitis still cannot be totally ruled out. The child’s clinical condition is not part of this table, but in reality, a child who is alert, active and playful is more likely to have viral meningitis, as opposed to a lethergic, toxic child who is more likely to have bacterial meningitis. This will probably turn out to be a case of viral meningitis despite the high percentage of neutrophils, since an early viral meningitis will often have high neutrophil percentages. A repeat LP 12-24 hours from the first LP will be helpful. A repeat LP which demonstrates a clear shift toward mononuclear cells, is consistent with viral meningitis, while no shift, or only a slight shift would suggest bacterial meningitis.


What does the following LP suggest?

% neutrophils- 60%
CSF Glucose- 50
Blood glucose- 87
Protein- 48

Viral meningitis

Viral. Most cases of viral meningitis will present with a moderate increase in the number of white cells and a % of neutrophils not higher than 60-70%.


What is Menigoencephalitis?

Overlap of menigitis + encephalitis


1. What is it?
2. Most commonly caused by?
3. Which viruses in particular are rapidly progresses and life threatening? 2
4. Other causes? 4

1. Inflammation of the brain
2. Most commonly caused by viral infections
3. HSV-1 and HSV-2 are rapidly progressing and life threatening
-West Nile Virus,


The difference between meningitis and encephalitis?

Encephalitis has altered brain function and neurologic findings like personality changes, paralysis, hallucinations, altered smell, problems with speech etc.


Symptoms of encephalitis
1. Mild cases may just have what?

2. Severe cases? 10

3. Children? 6

1. Mild cases may just have flu like symptoms

2. Severe cases
-Severe HA,
-altered consciousness,
-confusion, agitation, personality changes,
-loss of sensation, paralysis, muscle weakness,
-hallucinations, double vision,
-perception of foul smells,
-problems with speech or hearing,

-bulging of fontanels,
-nausea, vomiting,
-body stiffness,
-inconsolable crying,
-crying that worsens when picked up,
-poor feeding


Work up and treatment of encephalitis

Work up? 4


1. CT and/or MRI of head
2. CBC,
3. CMP
4. LP

Acyclovir 10mg/kg IV q 8 h (empiric treatment for HSV as it is the most deadly)


What are you looking for when you get an for LP? 4

1. the usual cultures etc., but also
2. PCR for HSV1,
3. serology: IgM ab for West Nile virus, mumps, EBV
4. Note if RBCs in CSF and nontraumatic tap it is HSV until proven otherwise


Septic Arthritis
Septic arthritis is a medical emergency!
1. When left untreated, it can destroy a joint in what time?
2. What pattern does it present?
3. More commonly affects large joints, especially ______?
4. Signs and Symptoms? 3

5. What MUST you do in this pt?

1. 12-24 HOURS

2. Usually affects only one or a few asymmetrical joints

3. knee

-Acute or subacute onset of pain
-Erythema, swelling, and limited joint motion
-Systemic sx (fever, malaise, etc) may be present or absent

5. You must do an arthrocentesis on any – red, hot, swollen joint


Septic Arthritis
1. Joint fluid analysis shows what level of RBC?

2. Send joint fluid for ? 4

3. Gram stain of joint fluid will show the causative organism in most cases EXCEPT what?

4. If GC arthritis is suspected in sexually active patient, do what? 3

5. Tx?
-No indication for what?

1. >40,000 WBCs in most cases

-cell count,
-culture (and specify CULTURE + SENSITIVITY + R/O GONORRHEA)

3. gonococcal arthritis (75-80% are false negative)

-urethral, or
-rectal GC cultures as appropriate for >90% sensitivity

5. Treatment is high-dose IV antibiotics
-No indication for intra-articular antibiotics

CDC website is best source for latest antibiotic recommendations


1. Symptoms? 7

2. Source of infection? 7

1. Symptoms:
-fever, +/- chills,
-rigors may suggest bacteremia,
-respiratory failure,
-sepsis, septic shock,
-skin lesions

2. Source of infection:
-respiratory tract,
-central venous catheters,
-urinary tract,
-GI tract,
-biliary tract,
-soft tissues


1. Gram stain: 25-50% of all blood stream infections?
2. Treatment for severe sepsis +/- shock? 3

1. Gram –

2. Treatment for severe sepsis +/- shock
-Gentamicin or tobramycin or amikacin
- PLUS antipseudomonal cephalosporin like Cefepime
- (+/-) vancomycin until cultures come back


Gram +
1. Leading cause?
2. Empiric tx?
3. MSSA tx? 4
4. MRSA tx? 2

5. Work up should include what?

1. Staphlococcus aureus is a leading cause of Gram + bacteremia
2. Empiric treatment - vancomycin
3. MSSA – PCN, nafcillin or oxacillin, vanco
4. MRSA – vancomycin or daptomycin
5. Work up should include transesophageal echo to rule out infective endocarditis


1. Clinical syndrome from what kind of response to an infection?
2. Definition of sepsis = ?

3. General symptoms: 6

1. dysregulated inflammatory

2. infection + some of the following:

-Temp > 38.3 or less than 36
- HR > 90
- RR >20
- altered mental status
- significant edema
- hyperglycemia without a hx of DM glucose > 140


Definition of sepsis = infection + some of the following:
1. Inflammatory? 4

2. Hemodynamic? 2

3. Other monitoring parameters? 4

1. Inflammatory:
-WBC >12K or less than 4K,
-WBC with > 10% immature forms,
-elevated CRP,
-elevated procalcitonin

2. Hemodynamic:
-often with a wide pulse pressure

-Poor urine output,
-elevated creatinine,
-elevated INR and PTT,
-low platelets