The steady advance in therapy in the past decade with the introduction of new chemotherapeutic agents and the antibiotics has dramatically influenced the fatality rate of pneumococcic meningitis. It is now a question of not only which agent or combination of agents to use, but also of how each agent can most effectively be applied. In the treatment of meningitis, especially, the known irritation and possible danger of intrathecal medication must be weighed against the seeming necessity for its use in a usually fatal disease.
Penicillin was first used on the Children's Service at Bellevue Hospital in the treatment of pneumococcic meningitis in May, 1943. The following report will concern itself with patients seen only since this time. Fifteen infants and children were treated between May, 1943, and December, 1949.
Pneumococcic meningitis was almost universally fatal before penicillin and sulfonamide therapy. Rarely did a child survive. Of 150 patients from
Nemir RL, Israel J. PNEUMOCOCCIC MENINGITIS IN INFANTS AND CHILDRENCOMBINED THERAPY USING PENICILLIN AND SULFONAMIDE. JAMA. 1951;147(3):213–218. doi:10.1001/jama.1951.03670200005002