Medical Surgical Meningitis #2

Question

Which client would be most at risk for meningitis?

Answers

  1. A 30-year-old prisoner one year post op splenectomy
    • Rationale:

      This answer is correct because this client has three risk factors. He is without a spleen, one year post op and a prisoner. The spleen plays an important part in immunity by housing white blood cells which fight infection. The risk of infection post splenectomy is highest in the first two years after the surgery. Also the client is a prisoner living in crowded conditions, making infectious diseases more easily transmitted.

  2. A 19-year-old college student living in a dorm
    • Rationale:

      This answer is not correct because although the client is at risk due to his age and living quarters, he may have been vaccinated since he is in college. Some colleges require certain vaccinations before admission.

  3. A 2-month-old moving from Scotland
    • Rationale:

      This answer is not correct because this client only has one risk factor, his age. Though traveling is a risk factor for meningitis, there is no indication this child has been traveling since the client just moved from Scotland.

  4. A 65-year-old grandmother exposed by her granddaughter
    • Rationale:

      This answer is not correct because exposure does not necessarily mean infected. Also the client is out of the high risk age range for meningitis.

Overview

Meningitis is inflammation of the meninges around the brain and spinal cord caused by bacteria, a virus or fungus. Highest risk is found in those living in crowded quarters, children under 1 year of age, adolescents and those with asplenia.

Explanation

Learning Outcomes

Meningitis is inflammation of the meninges around the brain and spinal cord caused by bacteria, a virus or fungus. Highest risk is found in those living in crowded quarters, children under 1 year of age, adolescents and those with asplenia. Transmission of infectious diseases is high in crowded conditions such as dorms, prisons and crowded countries. Children under 1 year of age due to their low immunity, and adolescents due to being in classrooms and sharing of food and utensils. Those without a spleen are especially at risk. The spleen plays an important part in immunity by containing white blood cells which fight infection. The risk of infection post splenectomy is highest in the first two years after the surgery, but remains high throughout their lives.

Test Taking Tip

Always remember the function of the spleen and the risk for serious infections for those without one.

Video Rationale