summer slump sale Save up to 40% today
Medicine (MD/DO)
Gram Negative Cocci
Meningitis Assessment

Master Meningitis Assessment with Picmonic for Medicine

With Picmonic, facts become pictures. We've taken what the science shows - image mnemonics work - but we've boosted the effectiveness by building and associating memorable characters, interesting audio stories, and built-in quizzing.

Meningitis Assessment

Recommended Picmonics

picmonic thumbnail
Common Causes of Meningitis: Newborn (0-6 Months)
picmonic thumbnail
Meningitis Interventions
picmonic thumbnail
Neisseria gonorrhoeae Characteristics
picmonic thumbnail
Neisseria Meningitidis

Meningitis Assessment

Men-in-tights with Assess-man
Meningitis is an inflammation of the meningeal membrane that surrounds the brain and spinal cord. Most cases are viral; however, bacterial and fungal infections occur and can be life-threatening. Bacterial meningitis is contagious and spread via respiratory droplet.
Nausea and Vomiting

Nausea and vomiting are common in meningitis as the rising intracranial pressure exerts pressure on the control centers of the brain that stimulate vomiting. In situations when intracranial pressure is extremely high (hemorrhage, for example), we often see classic projectile vomiting.


A sudden high fever is one of the key signs of meningitis and may be accompanied by chills. A high fever increases the metabolic rate and can lead to insensible fluid loss, so be sure to assess for dehydration and encourage adequate fluid intake.

Nuchal Rigidity
Brass-knuckles punching Stone-neck

Nuchal rigidity, also known as a stiff neck, is another key sign of meningitis. In conjunction with this, a positive Kernig’s sign or Brudzinski’s sign may be present. A positive Kernig’s sign is assessed when pain limits passive extension of the knee when lying supine with the hip and knee flexed at 90 degrees. A positive Brudzinski’s sign is when flexion of the neck causes involuntary flexion of the knee and hip.

Severe Headache

A severe headache that isn’t like any other type of headache is often present. Headaches may continue for several months until inflammation and irritation are resolved. It is important to implement pain management.


Purpura is a dark purple rash that occurs on the skin. This symptom is characteristic of meningococcemia, or meningococcal infection in the bloodstream. This condition is associated with septic shock-like symptoms and will have a rapid onset. Treat immediately, as death can occur as quickly as in a few hours.


Seizures often occur due to irritation of the cerebral cortex and a high fever unresponsive to antipyretics or cooling blankets. Bacterial infections have a higher incidence of seizure activity.


Photophobia, known as increased sensitivity to light, is another possible symptom of meningitis.

Opisthotonus Position
Severe hyperextension of Pistol-body

Opisthotonus is a position of severe hyperextension of the head, neck, and spinal column resembling a bridging or arching position. It is often pronounced in infants with meningitis.

High-Pitched Cry
Crying baby

A high-pitched cry or constant crying may be a sign of meningitis.

Bulging Fontanel
Bulging Fountain

Infants with meningitis may have a bulging fontanel (soft spot on the head).


Take the Meningitis Assessment Quiz

Picmonic's rapid review multiple-choice quiz allows you to assess your knowledge.

It's worth every penny

Our Story Mnemonics Increase Mastery and Retention

Memorize facts with phonetic mnemonics

Unforgettable characters with concise but impactful videos (2-4 min each)

Memorize facts with phonetic mnemonics

Ace Your Medicine (MD/DO) Classes & Exams with Picmonic:

Over 1,900,000 students use Picmonic’s picture mnemonics to improve knowledge, retention, and exam performance.

Choose the #1 Medicine (MD/DO) student study app.

Picmonic for Medicine (MD/DO) covers information that is relevant to your entire Medicine (MD/DO) education. Whether you’re studying for your classes or getting ready to conquer the USMLE Step 1, USMLE Step 2 CK, COMLEX Level 1, or COMLEX Level 2, we’re here to help.

Works better than traditional Medicine (MD/DO) flashcards.

Research shows that students who use Picmonic see a 331% improvement in memory retention and a 50% improvement in test scores.