Review decision: 

We checked this guideline and decided that it should not be updated at this time. For details, see the update decision and the process for deciding if an update is needed. We have also removed reference to throat swabs from recommendation 1.3.14, to bring it into line with Public Health England’s Guidance for public health management of meningococcal disease in the UK.

Next review date: December 2016

This guideline offers best practice advice on the care of children and young people younger than 16 years with bacterial meningitis and meningococcal septicaemia.

  • Bacterial meningitis is an infection of the surface of the brain (meninges) by bacteria that have usually travelled there from mucosal surfaces via the bloodstream. Meningococcal septicaemia – or blood poisoning – occurs when the bacteria in the blood multiply uncontrollably.
  • Meningococcal disease can appear as meningococcal meningitis or meningococcal septicaemia, or a combination of both.
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