Quality statement 4: Initiation of antibiotics

Quality statement

Children and young people with suspected bacterial meningitis or meningococcal septicaemia receive intravenous or intraosseous antibiotics within an hour of arrival at hospital.

Quality measure

Structure: Evidence of local arrangements for children and young people with suspected bacterial meningitis or meningococcal septicaemia to receive intravenous or intraosseous antibiotics within an hour of arrival at hospital.

Process: Proportion of children and young people with suspected bacterial meningitis or meningococcal septicaemia who receive intravenous or intraosseous antibiotics within an hour of arrival at hospital.

Numerator – the number of people in the denominator who receive intravenous or intraosseous antibiotics within an hour of arrival at hospital.

Denominator – the number of children and young people with suspected bacterial meningitis or meningococcal septicaemia arriving in hospital.

What the quality statement means for different audiences

Service providers ensure systems are in place for children and young people with suspected bacterial meningitis or meningococcal septicaemia to receive intravenous or intraosseous antibiotics within an hour of arrival at hospital.

Healthcare professionals give children and young people with suspected bacterial meningitis or meningococcal septicaemia intravenous or intraosseous antibiotics within an hour of arrival at hospital.

Commissioners ensure they commission services for children and young people with suspected bacterial meningitis or meningococcal septicaemia to receive intravenous or intraosseous antibiotics within an hour of arrival at hospital.

Children and young people with suspected bacterial meningitis or meningococcal septicaemia (blood poisoning) are given antibiotics intravenously (directly into a vein through a needle or thin tube) or intraosseously (directly into the bone through a needle or thin tube) within an hour of arrival at hospital.

Source guidance

Meningitis (bacterial) and meningococcal septicaemia in under 16s: recognition, diagnosis and management (2010) NICE guideline CG102, recommendations 1.2.4 and 1.4.1 to 1.4.3

Data source

Structure: Local data collection.

Process: Local data collection.

Definitions

Antibiotics should be administered for children and young people with suspected bacterial meningitis or meningococcal septicaemia as soon as possible in order to optimise chances of recovery, and within an hour of arrival in secondary care.

[NICE's guideline on meningitis (bacterial) and meningococcal septicaemia in under 16s, recommendations 1.4.1 to 1.4.3]

While antibiotics should be given at the earliest opportunity, either in primary or secondary care (without delaying urgent transfer to hospital to do so), this statement concerns children and young people with suspected bacterial meningitis or meningococcal septicaemia for whom there has been no delay in their transfer to hospital, either from their GP or through attendance at an accident and emergency department.

For children and young people for whom urgent transfer to hospital is not possible (for example, in remote locations or adverse weather conditions), antibiotics may be given in primary or community care.

[NICE's guideline on meningitis (bacterial) and meningococcal septicaemia in under 16s, recommendations 1.2.3 and 1.2.4]