What initial steps should be taken to treat suspected meningitis prior to arrival in the emergency department (ED)?

Updated: Jul 16, 2019
  • Author: Rodrigo Hasbun, MD, MPH; Chief Editor: Michael Stuart Bronze, MD  more...
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Answer

If the patient is in shock or hypotensive, crystalloid should be infused until euvolemia is achieved. If the patient’s mental status is altered, seizure precautions should be considered, seizures should be treated according to the usual protocol, and airway protection should be considered. If the patient is alert and in stable condition with normal vital signs, oxygen should be administered, intravenous (IV) access established, and rapid transport to the emergency department (ED) initiated. Institution of an ED triage protocol may help identify patients at risk.


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