Infective meningitis is the most frequent of the serious complications of otitis media and mastoiditis. No successful method of treatment has been developed that offers more than an occasional recovery. The anatomic structure of the brain coverings, with their innumerable spaces, recesses and pockets, for the most part inaccessible, makes drainage as applied to other parts of the body impossible except to a limited degree.
Certain facts that are known about meningitis were summarized by Jackson and Coates1 as follows: (a) meningitis is at first a localized disease, with more or less a latent stage; (b) surgical drainage of this area while the process is still localized would result in many recoveries; (c) later, with formation of exudate and blockage of the cisterns of the base of the brain, the condition becomes hopeless, and (d) the symptoms of meningitis as now accepted are those of the terminal stage. By streptococcic