As a result of extraordinary progress in the development of antibacterial agents, it has been possible for several years to obtain a cure in almost all of the cases of the most frequently occurring varieties of pyogenic meningitis. Sufficient data are now at hand from experience in this field to provide a measure of the actual accomplishments. Clearly the mortality has been greatly reduced; few children die now of meningitis. On the other hand, among the survivors there is an increase in the incidence of persistent cerebral injury of a degree that disturbs function. Such residuals, when they occur, are apparently the result of late diagnosis, both clinical and bacteriological, and of inadequate treatment with the available therapeutic agents.
LIMITATIONS OF THERAPY
The limitations of antibacterial therapy in the past several years are now documented. A number of authors have reported a significant incidence of neurological and psychological sequelae.1