IT IS NECESSARY to compare the past with the present in order to appreciate fully the altered course of the meningitides. Until nine years ago, recovery from any form of bacterial meningitis, other than the meningococcic variety, was a rare event. Therefore, prior to 1937 opportunities to study many of the complications of meningitis were limited to those patients in whom Meningococcus was the inciting factor. Consequently, this discussion will relate chiefly to meningococcic meningitis.
Complications may occur at any stage of the infection. Petechiae are sometimes classified as complications and appear early, often preceding any clinical evidence of meningitis, which, as a matter of fact, may not develop.1 As a rule, no forms of meningitis except those with meningococcic infections include petechiae. Some years ago, Gordon2 reported that 59.54 per cent of his patients with epidemic meningitis had petechiae. During the last four years in Chicago, petechiae