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FEMS Microbiol Rev. 2007 Jan;31(1):71-83.

Diagnosis and management of meningococcal disease: the need for centralized care.

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1
Department of Paediatrics, St Mary's Hospital, London, UK. s.nadel@imperial.ac.uk

Abstract

Meningococcal infection remains a significant health problem in children, with a significant mortality and morbidity. Prompt recognition and aggressive early treatment are the only effective measures against invasive disease. This requires immediate administration of antibiotic therapy, and the recognition and treatment of patients who may have complications of meningococcal infection such as shock, raised intracranial pressure (ICP) or both. Encouragingly, its mortality has fallen in recent years. This is the result of several factors such as the centralization of care of seriously ill children in paediatric intensive care units (PICUs), the establishment of specialized mobile intensive care teams, the development of protocols for the treatment of meningococcal infection, and the dissemination by national bodies and charities of guidance about early recognition and management. We will review the pathophysiology and management of the different presentations of meningococcal disease and examine the possible role of adjunctive therapies.

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