Meningitis in Infants and Children
How is the infection diagnosed?
Diagnosis of meningitis begins with a medical history and physical exam. The healthcare provider may order blood tests. A spinal tap may be done to obtain a sample of cerebrospinal fluid. A sample of CSF is taken by placing a hollow needle through the skin in the middle of the lower back. The needle is advanced into the spine, where the CSF surrounds the spinal cord. A small sample of CSF fluid is withdrawn and sent to the lab for study.