Bacterial meningitis and meningococcal septicaemia: Management of bacterial meningitis and meningococcal septicaemia in children and young people younger than 16 years in primary and secondary care

NICE guidelines [CG102] Published date:

Review decision date: June 2013

Next review date: March 2015

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.

  • July 2010 Please note that there is an amended version of the Quick Reference Guide (QRG) for the NICE clinical guideline 102, Bacterial meningitis and meningococcal septicaemia guideline, which was published in June 2010 now available on line. The amended QRG now reflects the action required when meningococcal meningitis is confirmed in children older than 3 months (page 14). The slide set has also been revised.

    September 2010:

    Corrections to the full version of Bacterial meningitis and meningococcal septicaemia (clinical guideline 102) published in June 2010

    A correction has been made to the full version of this guideline, as well as to the NICE version and the Quick Reference Guide.

    The hydrocortisone dosage in the recommendation relating to steroid replacement therapy using low-dose corticosteroids in children and young people with shock that is unresponsive to vasoactive agents has been corrected (NICE guideline recommendation 1.4.45). The original recommendation stated:

    In children and young people with shock that is unresponsive to vasoactive agents, steroid replacement therapy using low-dose corticosteroids (hydrocortisone 0.25 mg/m2 four times daily) should be used only when directed by a paediatric intensivist.

    The corrected recommendation reads:

    In children and young people with shock that is unresponsive to vasoactive agents, steroid replacement therapy using low-dose corticosteroids (hydrocortisone 25 mg/m2 four times daily) should be used only when directed by a paediatric intensivist.

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