A lumbar puncture for a toddler sounds scary. Aren't there new technologies to diagnose meningitis using other methods?
Essential for diagno. lumbar puncture is essential as it provides access to the spinal fluid for culture and a variety of tests that enable doctors to make an appropriate diagnosis. considering how many women have spinal anesthesia for delivery, you should not consider LP to be scary. It is generally a safe and quick procedure.
No. Meningitis causes inflammatory markers to spread within the fluids surrounding the brain and spinal cord. Blood tests reflect the whole body,not the meninges. Access points include the base of the skull where the brain enters the spine or the lower back.The lower back has the advantage of being beyond where the spinal cord ends & a space filled with spinal fluid. Scary, to some, necessary, yes.
Spinal tap. Spinal tap or LP is the best to diagnose meningitis in any age, it is the only way to obtain CSF in order to check the CSF protein, sugar, cell counts, gram stain and culture to differentiate among norma statusl, bacterial or viral infection of the meninges. If the test is scary, it can be done with local anesthesia or even by given sedation to the child.