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Explanation of Kernig’s Sign and Brudzinski Sign

Discussion in 'Neurology' started by Egyptian Doctor, Feb 5, 2016.

  1. Egyptian Doctor

    Egyptian Doctor Moderator Verified Doctor

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    A positive Kernig’s Sign indicates that a patient either has a Subarachnoid Haemorrhage (with blood irititating the meninges) or Meningitis.

    Kernig’s Sign can be identified when a patient with a decreased level of consciousness (LOC) bends their leg (at the hip) to form a 90 degree angle.

    The term Kernig’s Sign was first identified by a German Neurologist by the name of Waldemar Kernig.




    A Brudzinski Sign is an involuntary lifting of a patient’s legs in response to an examining Doctor of Health Practioner lifting the head. This is often associated with meningeal irritation, such as blood in the mininges (Subarachnoid Haemorrhage) or Acute Meningitis.

    osef Brudzinski was a Polish Doctor who has been noted for his identification of many of the signs of Meningitis.

    What is the clinical significance of Brudzinski’s sign?

    As a paramedic you may wish to perform a Brudzinski’s test on any patient that you suspect to have meningeal iritation, such as meningitis. A positive Brudzinski’s sign indicates meningeal iriation and is often associated with meningitis. This is a life-threatening emergency and should be treated as such by paramedics.





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