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is meningitis treatable in geriatric patients? How do i request the tests?

By Anonymous September 18, 2018 - 1:21am
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My mother has a form of valley fever. (a fungal infection common to the southwest united states.) I was told by several family members that had been her caretakers up till this point. that she also has a pneumonia like infection. as well as meningitis. Her primary care physician has prescribed a zpack (azithromycin 500 mg first day then 250 per day for five total days) fluconizole twice daily for the fungal infection..)) what else should be done? I am just beginning to try and help and obviously the goal for me and for her is to save and or prolong her life. I'm not convinced that all her doctors and laymen caretakers have the same goal in mind.. what should i be demanding be done?

A little background on her. she is 72 years old. two time cancer survivor. she has COPD.Emphysema,fibro-myalgia,mild seizure disorder,mild Alzheimers. or dementia.(i'm not convinced at least part of her ailments are not related to allergies to food or medications or both) she is allergic to penicillin,sulfur,(not sure what else as her doctor hasn't ordered tests) could it be that some of her medications contain allergens that could be mimicking the ailments? Obviously i need help here and don't know what questions to ask and to whom to ask them.

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HERWriter Guide

Hello Anon

Thank you for writing!

72 is not really old - not anymore. Your mother should have years ahead of her so prolonging her life is vital.

What kind of meningitis does your mother have? Bacterial or viral?

Patients who have meningitis have an inflammation of the meninges—the covering of the spinal cord and brain. The different types of meningitis include bacterial meningitis and viral meningitis, though some patients have other types of meningitis, such as one caused by a fungal infection. Diagnosing the type of meningitis and treating it is imperative, as several types of meningitis can cause complications, such as neurological damage.

The treatment for meningitis depends on the type. For example, with viral meningitis, patients may need to drink fluids, get plenty of rest and use over-the-counter pain medication if they have aches or a fever. The MayoClinic.com noted that in many cases, viral meningitis clears up without a specific therapeutic treatment within one to two weeks. If it is a severe case of viral meningitis, hospitalization may be needed. The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke added that to reduce brain inflammation, patients may take corticosteroids; doctors may prescribe patients an anticonvulsant to prevent seizures from occurring.

With bacterial meningitis, patients need antibiotics for the specific type of bacterium that caused the infection. Some patients may need the antibiotics to be administered intravenously. The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke stated that giving bacterial meningitis patients the right antibiotic can reduce the risk of death to below 15 percent. Patients may require additional treatment if they have other issues, such as brain swelling or dehydration. The MayoClinic.com added that drainage may be required in cases of infected sinuses or fluid that has build up between the skull and the meninges.

With fungal meningitis, patients receive medications administered intravenously; the MayoClinic.com noted that this type of treatment may be delayed until a laboratory test can determine that a fungus caused the inflammation, as the treatment had serious side effects.

If your mother is in a very bad way, have her taken to the ER. We cannot say if her allergy symptoms could mimic other symptoms but she should not be prescribed anything she is allergic to and her pharmacy should also pick that up. On her behalf, someone need to call the pharmacy to check this out. See if this can be done as soon as possible. It's also important that someone talk to her doctor to advocate on her behalf.

September 18, 2018 - 4:28am
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