Medical Surgical Meningitis #5

Question

Which of the symptoms below will the nurse expect to observe with a client diagnosed with meningitis?

Answers

  1. Paresthesias and weakness of lower extremities
    • Rationale:

      This answer is not correct because paresthesias and weakness of lower extremities is not associated with meningitis. These are symptoms of Guillain-Barre syndrome.

  2. Severe headache with photophobia
    • Rationale:

      This answer is correct because photophobia and headache is a result of irritation and inflammation to the basal meninges. The trigeminal nerve supplies the meninges, which accounts for the pain associated with light sensitivity. Light that is transmitted through the retina which occupies nerve fibers of the trigeminal nerve causes photophobia.

  3. Presence of lesions of the buccal mucosa
    • Rationale:

      This answer is not correct because fasciculations of the face are symptoms of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).

  4. Fasciculations of the face
    • Rationale:

      This answer is not correct because the presence of lesions in the buccal mucosa are signs of encephalitis due to a virus. The difference between meningitis and encephalitis is that meningitis is inflammation of the membranes surrounding the brain, whereas encephalitis is inflammation of the brain itself.

Overview

Meningitis is inflammation of the meninges around the brain and spinal cord caused by bacteria, a virus or fungus. Symptoms include severe headache with light sensitivity, sudden high fever, stiff neck, nausea and vomiting, seizures and confusion.

Explanation

Learning Outcomes

Meningitis is inflammation of the meninges around the brain and spinal cord. This can be caused by bacteria, virus or fungus. Symptoms include severe headache with light sensitivity, sudden high fever, stiff neck, nausea and vomiting, seizures and confusion. Photophobia and headache is a result of irritation and inflammation to the basal meninges. The trigeminal nerve supplies the meninges. This accounts for the pain associated with light sensitivity. Light that is transmitted through the retina which occupies nerve fibers of the trigeminal nerve causes photophobia.

Test Taking Tip

Know the signs and symptoms of the various neurological disorders.

Video Rationale