Children who have
cochlear implants have a higher risk of getting bacterial meningitis.2 A cochlear implant is a device is implanted in the
inner ear to treat severe hearing loss that does not improve with hearing
Experts think one or more factors may put some
people with a cochlear implant at higher risk of meningitis than others with an
implant. These include people who have:
Investigators also are looking at whether the design of the
implants contributes to development of meningitis.
To reduce the
risk of getting meningitis, people with cochlear implants should get a pneumococcal vaccine (such as the pneumococcal conjugate vaccine or the pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine.1 Also, some people with
implants had ear infections before they developed meningitis. For this reason,
experts recommend that people with implants receive prompt antibiotic treatment
for ear infections.
National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI) (2006). Canadian Immunization Guide, 7th ed., pp. 1–372. Ottawa: Public Health Agency of Canada. Also available online: http://publications.gc.ca.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) (2012). Use of vaccines to prevent meningitis in persons with cochlear implants. Available online: http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/vpd-vac/mening/cochlear/dis-cochlear-gen.htm.
January 17, 2013
E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine
& W. David Colby IV, MSc, MD, FRCPC - Infectious Disease
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