Quality statement 7: Blood tests

Quality statement

Children and young people with suspected bacterial meningitis or meningococcal septicaemia have whole blood meningococcal polymerase chain reaction (PCR) testing.

Quality measure

Structure: Evidence of local arrangements for children and young people with suspected bacterial meningitis or meningococcal septicaemia to have whole blood meningococcal PCR testing.

Process: Proportion of children and young people with suspected bacterial meningitis or meningococcal septicaemia who have whole blood meningococcal PCR testing.

Numerator – the number of people in the denominator who have whole blood meningococcal PCR testing.

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

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 have whole blood meningococcal PCR testing.

Healthcare professionals carry out whole blood meningococcal PCR testing for children and young people with suspected bacterial meningitis or meningococcal septicaemia.

Commissioners ensure they commission services for children and young people with suspected bacterial meningitis or meningococcal septicaemia to have whole blood meningococcal PCR testing.

Children and young people with suspected bacterial meningitis or meningococcal septicaemia (blood poisoning) have a blood sample taken for a type of DNA laboratory test called PCR that will help confirm the diagnosis.

Source guidance

Meningitis (bacterial) and meningococcal septicaemia in under 16s: recognition, diagnosis and management (2010) NICE guideline CG102, recommendation 1.3.8 (key priority for implementation)

Data source

Structure: Local data collection.

Process: Local data collection. Contained within the baseline assessment for the NICE guideline on meningitis (bacterial) and meningococcal septicaemia in under 16s.

Definitions

PCR testing

PCR is a DNA-based diagnostic test.

PCR testing may not always be appropriate (for example, if the diagnosis has been confirmed by positive blood or cerebrospinal fluid cultures).