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Viral Meningitis

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:

Viral meningitis is inflammation of the lining that surrounds and protects your brain and spinal cord. Viral meningitis is also called aseptic meningitis.


WHILE YOU ARE HERE:

Informed consent

is a legal document that explains the tests, treatments, or procedures that you may need. Informed consent means you understand what will be done and can make decisions about what you want. You give your permission when you sign the consent form. You can have someone sign this form for you if you are not able to sign it. You have the right to understand your medical care in words you know. Before you sign the consent form, understand the risks and benefits of what will be done. Make sure all your questions are answered.

Isolation safety measures

may be used if you have an infection that can be passed from person to person. Healthcare providers and visitors may need to wear gloves, a face mask, or a gown. Visitors should wash their hands before leaving to keep from spreading germs.

Medicines:

  • Antinausea medicine may be given to calm your stomach and to help prevent vomiting.

  • Pain medicine may be given. Do not wait until the pain is severe before you ask for more medicine.

  • Acetaminophen decreases pain and fever.

  • Antiviral medicine helps fight an infection caused by some viruses.

  • Anticonvulsant medicine is given to prevent or control seizures. Take this medicine exactly as directed.

Tests:

  • Lumbar puncture is a procedure in which a needle is inserted in your back and into your spinal canal. This is usually done to collect cerebrospinal fluid (CSF). CSF is a clear, protective fluid that flows around the brain and inside the spinal canal. The fluid will be sent to a lab to check for infection.

  • Blood tests may be done to check for signs of infection.

  • Throat and stool cultures may be done. A swab of your throat or a bowel movement sample may be collected to learn what virus is causing your symptoms.

  • A neurologic exam is also called neuro signs, neuro checks, or neuro status. A neurologic exam can show healthcare providers how well your brain works after an injury or illness. Healthcare providers will check how your pupils (black dots in the center of each eye) react to light. They may check your memory and how easily you wake up. Your hand grasp and balance may also be tested.

Treatment:

You may receive IV liquids if you cannot drink liquids or you are vomiting.

RISKS:

You may continue to have headaches and other symptoms for up to 2 weeks. Your brain may swell and you could have seizures. Without early treatment, your brain and other organs could be damaged. You may have hearing, vision, speech, memory, or behavior problems.

CARE AGREEMENT:

You have the right to help plan your care. Learn about your health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your caregivers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment.

© 2015 Truven Health Analytics Inc. Information is for End User's use only and may not be sold, redistributed or otherwise used for commercial purposes. All illustrations and images included in CareNotes® are the copyrighted property of A.D.A.M., Inc. or Truven Health Analytics.

The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

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