A previously healthy young man presented to hospital with severe traumatic brain injury following a motor vehicle collision. Within 24 hours of admission, and despite antibiotic coverage, he developed a fever. On the second day, the source of infection was discovered to be purulent pneumococcal meningitis. At 48 hours post-accident, he developed brain-stem death without evidence of raised intracranial pressure or trans-tentorial herniation. Initial CT scans of the head were essentially normal, but early repeat scans revealed evidence of pneumocephalus and possible frontal bone fracture. Current recommendations do not make room for targeted antibiotic prophylaxis in traumatic brain injury patients with traumatic skull fracture. We argue that our case demonstrates the need for aggressive targeted antibiotic prophylaxis in the presence of certain features such as frontal or sphenoid bone fracture and pneumocephalus.
- adult intensive care
- neurological injury
- trauma CNS/PNS
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Contributors GS, conceptualised, designed and edited the manuscript. AS conceptualised, ensured the ethical requirements were met and attempted to contact next of kin. ARMA contributed to literature review and original draft manuscript. MMK contributed to research, acquiring, analysing and interpreting the data.
Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.
Competing interests None declared.
Patient consent for publication Not required.
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.
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