Treatment with antibiotics should be started as soon as possible. Ceftazidime or Cefepime is one of the most commonly used antibiotics for this type of meningitis, but other antibiotics may be used, depending on the type of bacteria.
If you have a shunt, it may be removed to get rid of the infection.
Early treatment improves the outcome. Between 40% and 80% of patients with Gram-negative meningitis do not survive. Young children and adults over age 50 have the highest risk of death.
Many people recover completely, but a large number of people have permanent brain damage or die from this type of meningitis. The likelihood of survival depends on:
Call the local emergency number (such as 911) or go to an emergency room if you suspect meningitis in a young child who has the following symptoms:
Call the local emergency number if you develop any of the serious symptoms listed above. Meningitis can quickly become a life-threatening illness.
Swartz MN. Meningitis: bacterial, viral, and other. In: Goldman L, Ausiello D, eds. Cecil Medicine. 23rd ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2007:chap 437.
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