WHAT DID THE AUTHORS STUDY? In their study, “Dexamethasone and long-term survival in bacterial meningitis,” Dr. Fritz and his colleagues carefully evaluated 2 ways to treat bacterial meningitis. They compared steroids (dexamethasone) with placebo. The doctors gave medication (or placebo) in addition to antibiotics, the usual treatment for bacteria. In other words, Dr. Fritz et al. compared antibiotics by themselves with antibiotics plus steroids. Dr. Fritz and colleagues compared the mortality (deaths) that occurred in each treatment regimen. They looked at 2 months after the treatment, but also followed the group for an average of 13 years.