This guideline covers recognising, diagnosing and managing bacterial meningitis and meningococcal septicaemia (blood poisoning) in babies, children and young people under 16. It aims to reduce deaths and disability by promoting early recognition of symptoms and timely effective management.
In February 2015, reference to throat swabs was removed from recommendation 1.3.14, to bring it in line with Public Health England’s guidance for public health management of meningococcal disease in the UK.
This guideline includes recommendations on:
- symptoms, signs and initial assessment
- pre-hospital management
- diagnosis in secondary care
- management in secondary care
- long-term management
Who is it for?
- Healthcare professionals
- Under 16s with bacterial meningitis or meningococcal septicaemia, and their families and carers
Is this guideline up to date?
We reviewed the evidence in February 2015. We found nothing new that affects the recommendations in this guideline.
Next review: 2018
Guideline development process
The recommendations in this guideline represent the view of NICE, arrived at after careful consideration of the evidence available. When exercising their judgement, professionals are expected to take this guideline fully into account, alongside the individual needs, preferences and values of their patients or service users. The application of the recommendations in this guideline is not mandatory and the guideline does not override the responsibility of healthcare professionals to make decisions appropriate to the circumstances of the individual patient, in consultation with the patient and/or their carer or guardian.
Local commissioners and/or providers have a responsibility to enable the guideline to be applied when individual health professionals and their patients or service users wish to use it. They should do so in the context of local and national priorities for funding and developing services, and in light of their duties to have due regard to the need to eliminate unlawful discrimination, to advance equality of opportunity and to reduce health inequalities. Nothing in this guideline should be interpreted in a way that would be inconsistent with compliance with those duties.
Commissioners and providers have a responsibility to promote an environmentally sustainable health and care system and should assess and reduce the environmental impact of implementing NICE recommendations wherever possible.