Understanding the process and treatment of meningitis and meningococcal disease


Meningococcal septicaemia is a potentially life-threatening disease process which requires early recognition and rapid management in both pre-hospital and hospital phases of patient care. It is estimated that there are around 3 500 confirmed cases annually in the United Kingdom and, as such, widespread campaigns and national guidelines have been developed and adopted throughout NHS trusts. Standard treatment protocols have been developed and adopted to manage patients appropriately; however, other emerging treatment options are becoming more widely acknowledged, but require further investigation before recommendations can be made. It is vitally important that clinicians in patient-facing roles who are likely to come into contact with meningococcal-related diseases adopt a high index of suspicion, basing diagnosis on history, physical examination and clinical investigations. Rapid intervention should be undertaken for any patient where the disease process is suspected.

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