Improving the diagnosis of central nervous system infections in adults through introduction of a simple lumbar puncture pack
Emergency Medicine Journal, 06/22/2012
Michael BD et al. – This study has demonstrated that the introduction of a simple low–cost lumbar puncture (LP) pack into a busy acute medical setting can improve the diagnosis of central nervous system (CNS) infections and, thus, guide treatment.Methods
- The authors developed an LP pack for patients with a suspected CNS infection.
- They also assessed its impact on diagnosis by comparing practice 6months before and after its introduction to the medical admissions unit of a large inner city teaching hospital.
- The authors found that the LP pack reduced major errors in CSF sample collection and improved the diagnosis of acute CNS infections; among those patients who had a CSF pleocytosis, the proportion with a viral or bacterial pathogen identified by PCR was increased after introduction of the pack.