Meningococcemia - Treatment
Meningococcal septicemia; Meningococcal blood poisoning; Meningococcal bacteremia
Meningococcemia is a medical emergency. Persons with this type of infection are often admitted to the intensive care unit of the hospital, where they are closely monitored. The person may be placed in respiratory isolation for the first 24 hours to help prevent the spread of the infection to others.
Treatments may include:
Early treatment results in a good outcome. When shock develops, the outcome is less certain.
The condition is most life threatening in those who have:
Patients who do not develop meningitis also tend to have a poorer outcome.
- Disseminated intravascular coagulopathy (DIC)
- Gangrene due to lack of blood supply
- Inflammation of blood vessels in the skin (cutaneous vasculitis)
- Severe damage to adrenal glands that can lead to low blood pressure (Waterhouse-Friderichsen syndrome)
Calling your health care provider:
Go to the emergency room immediately if you have symptoms of meningococcemia. Call your doctor if you have been around someone with the disease.
- Reviewed last on: 9/15/2010
- David C. Dugdale, III, MD, Professor of Medicine, Division of General Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of Washington School of Medicine; Jatin M. Vyas, MD, PhD, Assistant Professor in Medicine, Harvard Medical School; Assistant in Medicine, Division of Infectious Disease, Department of Medicine, Massachusetts General Hospital. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.
Apicella MA. Meningococcal infections. In: Goldman L, Ausiello D, eds. Cecil Medicine. 23rd ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2007:chap 321.
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