Septic meningitis refers to that condition caused by pneumococci or streptococci usually arising from middle ear, mastoid or paranasal sinus infections. There may be recovery from strictly localized meningitis caused by these organisms, but the mortality from the diffuse spreading types with purulent cerebrospinal fluids is still nearly 100 per cent. These types constitute infections among the most mortal affecting mankind, and their frequency aside from this dreadful mortality demands increasing efforts toward the evolvement of more efficient methods of prevention and treatment.
Diagnosis is frequently and, indeed, usually greatly delayed. In my opinion a culture on blood agar or in dextrose hormone broth should be made as a routine in every case of mastoid involvement at the time of operation and an exact bacteriologic diagnosis should be demanded. If pneumococci or streptococci are present, an especially careful watch for meningitis should be maintained and, if this dreaded complication develops,
KOLMER JA. PNEUMOCOCCUS AND STREPTOCOCCUS MENINGITIS: CHEMOTHERAPY AND SERUM THERAPY, WITH ESPECIAL REFERENCE TO NEWER METHODS. JAMA. 1929;92(11):874–877. doi:10.1001/jama.1929.02700370022006
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