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New warning signs for child meningitis

the children developed identifiable early sepsis (infection) symptoms in just eight hours on average.

Almost three out of four parents noticed the onset of symptoms such as cold hands and feet, leg pain, and abnormal pallor up to 19 hours before their children were admitted to hospital.

The researchers analysed patient questionnaires and scoured medical records. Of the 448 children surveyed, all aged 16 or younger, 103 died and 345 survived. Only half the children were sent to hospital the first time they saw a doctor. In many cases, children were admitted to hospital only after an initial misdiagnosis, the research found.

Generally, primary-care clinicians are over-reliant on the classic symptoms of rash, headaches, stiff neck, light sensitivity and impaired consciousness to diagnose a meningococcal disease in children. The research team felt.

Often children were seen by a local GP who had never encountered a case of meningitis outside hospital. Dr Thompson warned that the research was in the early stages, but recommended that all parents be informed of the new warning signs.

The new warnings relate to the early signs of meningococcal disease, which can lead to meningitis as well as septicaemia and blood poisoning.

Vaccination can protect children against meningitis C, but other strains, most commonly meningitis B, kill children and adults indiscriminately.

How Meningitis strikes ‘Classic’ symptoms: ·Red rash ·Headache ·Stiff neck ·Sensitivity to light ·Impaired consciousness

‘New’ symptoms: ·Severe leg pain which prevents the child standing or walking ·Cold hands or feet - when the child is running a temperature ·Very pale, blue or dusky skin around the lips


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