Pre-hospital assessment and treatment of meningococcal meningitis

This article highlights ambiguities in current UK ambulance clinical guidelines for meningococcal meningitis and presents a discussion of the difficulty of diagnosing and treating the condition within a pre-hospital context. It recommends the development of a meningitis diagnostics scale in order to aid ambulance clinicians with a thorough patient assessment and to determine when treatment should be initiated. It suggests additionally that there should be further research into the benefits or detrimental effects of pre-hospital antibiotic treatment and adjunctive treatments, and whether non-penicillin antibiotics should start to be considered as the primary course of treatment for the UK ambulance service in relation to a world-wide increase in penicillin-resistant strains of meningococcal meningitis.

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