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How Is a Bacterial Infection of the Brain Treated?
There are many types of bacterial infections. Typically, a bacterial infection of the brain is called meningitis. A bacterial infection of the brain is caused when bacteria infects the multiple tissue layers of the brain which then causes brain swelling and can result in death if not treated properly. A bacterial infection of the brain is life threatening and treatment needs to be immediate.
Treatment is often the use of intravenous antibiotics selected by the doctor. This medical situation often requires admission to the hospital after diagnosis. Antibiotics are a common treatment for the many types of bacterial infections however; other treatments may be needed. The skull only allows so much room for the brain to swell before it will kill the patient. Typically after the first dose of antibiotics is administered a dose of corticosteroids is given to suppress the immune reaction caused by fragments of the bacteria elsewhere in the body. If the infection leads to seizures then one treatment may be the use of anticonvulsants. Often times shock can accompany meningitis and in this case other drugs are added intravenously in order to increase blood pressure. In severe cases, if the brain cavity is too swollen, surgery may be needed as a pressure release. In the case of coma mechanical ventilation is used as treatment to keep the person alive and comfortable.
In cases of severe pressure increases within the skull mechanical ventilation may also be used as treatment to alleviate some of the carbon dioxide in the blood to reduce pressure as quickly as possible. After mechanical ventilation, mannitol, another drug, is given to allow the fluid buildup in the brain to flow into the bloodstream; this alleviates the pressure in the brain and may save the life of the person with the bacterial brain infection. Most cases of meningitis can be addressed with a combination of medications and the patient can begin to recovery in two to three days. The key is the get immediate medical attention.
The information supplied in this article is not to be considered as medical advice and is for educational purposes only.