SHANA FOUNDATION INC via Crowdrise
January 02, 2011
BENEFITING: SHANA FOUNDATION INC
In 2004, Infectious Diseases Society of America issued practice guidelines for the management of bacterial meningitis. However, the diagnostics and protocol for dealing with bacterial meningitis cases are not widely known in the healthcare community. Because of the rapid onset of radical symptoms, the majority of patients with bacterial meningitis present themselves to hospital emergency rooms. Prompt diagnostics, awareness of the syndrome and proper intervention in this setting is critically important to save lives and prevent life-altering disabilities.
Over the last several years, the introduction and use of vaccines has reduced the incidence and changed the epidemiology of bacterial meningitis. The use of the flu vaccine has significantly reduced the incidence of H.influenzae type b meningitis. However, Streptococcus pneumoniae has emerged as the most common etiologic agent of bacterial meningitis in the United States, accounting for more than 60% of total cases. Although there is a vaccine available for Streptococcus pneumoniae, a new strain of the disease has surfaced and there is no current vaccine available. The most effective defense against bacterial meningitis today is education, awareness and proper emergency room protocol.
The Shana Foundation proposes an innovative program that will place bacterial meningitis at the forefront of emergency room diagnostics. Plaques developed by the guidelines committee of the Infectious Disease Society of America will be strategically placed in emergency rooms. Each plaque displays a standard of care protocol containing vital information in the form of an algorithm/checklist that will help emergency room personnel identify, manage and treat cases of bacterial meningitis. Recent vaccine development has lowered the incidence of meningitis, but paradoxically, emergency room personnel may now be less familiar with proper disease management because outbreaks are less common. They are often unfamiliar with the appropriate medicine and treatment based on age and strain; they frequently do not recognize the suspected type of meningitis, each requiring a different treatment, or the dangers and risks of mismanagement such as instant brain herniation from a poorly timed spinal tap. The plaque’s purpose is threefold: to keep bacterial meningitis fresh in the minds of the healthcare professionals; to serve as a tool in diagnosis; and to provide a resource for safe and effective treatment.
The plaques will also direct readers to a website for instant access to more information about bacterial meningitis, including recommendation of use of specific antimicrobial agents as well as the correct dosage and other options for treatment. Placement of each plaque will be accompanied by a presentation from Allan R. Tunkel, MD, PhD, Chair of Infectious Disease Society of America Bacterial Meningitis Practice Guidelines Committee. The prototype has already been developed, thanks in part to a generous donation from The Merck Foundation, and was presented to the emergency departments at Monmouth Medical, Jersey Shore Hospital, K.Hovnanian Children’s Hospital,and Saint Barnabas Medical Center.
The Shana Foundation is expanding its reach by placing plaques in hospital emergency rooms throughout America incorporating the expertise of other physicians who will be trained to make the presentation and provide content information for their local emergency rooms.