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Meningitis One-Page Primer

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Posted: December 10, 2014    Format: PDF
Meningitis One-Page Primer

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Category(s): Clinical (by system), Clinical (by topic), Emergency and Acute Medicine, Neurology
Topic(s): Meningitis, One Page Primer


Meningitis is a clinical syndrome characterized by inflammation of the meninges, 3 layers of membranes that enclose the brain and spinal cord. It is a medical emergency and one that needs to be recognized promptly so that the patient (pt) can begin to receive antibiotics as quickly as possible. Without treatment the mortality of meningitis approaches 100 %. In Canada between 1994 and 2007 there were 7 227 reported cases of meningitis hospitalizations in Canada. The annual occurrence rates were between 1 072 and 940 per year giving a ratio of 3.66 to 3.37 per 100 000. Of these there was an 11.3 % case fatality ratio with 25 % of the deaths occurring within 48 hrs of hospital admission.

This one-page primer provides useful clinical information on a primary care topic. Physicians, medical trainees and other health care practitioners could use these short documents as a point-of-care tool, a reference or a study aid. Use of this information to guide clinical care must be done in the context of appropriate medical knowledge and clinical judgement.

The material is presented with a special focus on family medicine and primary care. The content is evidence-based and employs Canadian guidelines where available.

Depending on the topic, the one page PDF file will include an overview, risk factors, definitions, etiologies, diagnostic considerations, management or approach, investigations, referral guidelines, pharmacotherapy, algorithms, patient resources and the bottom line.

The topics in the DFCMOpen One Page Primer series generally address and supplement The College of Family Physicians of Canada’s “99 Priority Topics” for family medicine residents in Canada.

Creation and revision dates are clearly presented at the top of each document and references can be found online at One Pager Project References.