Vinny Smith, Chief Executive of MRF said, “Sadly we see even more individuals and families affected by meningitis and septicaemia during winter, particulalry around Christmas, but it can be difficult to recognise at first. Even a doctor may not be able to diagnose it in the early stages, which is why it’s so important for everyone to know the symptoms and for parents to trust their instincts.”
National guidelines recommend doctors give parents ‘safety netting’ information if sending home a child with suspected infection - which includes information about meningitis and septicaemia and tells parents to return for medical help if their child’s symptoms do not improve or are getting worse - but a report from MRF shows this does not always happen. MRF is calling for an audit of national guidelines to find out how often safety netting information is provided to parents of unwell children.
Sign the petition here: https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/228720.
Vinny continued, “If someone is ill and getting rapidly worse, parents should not be afraid to seek urgent medical help - even if they’ve already been seen by a doctor that same day. Our new resource helps everyone decide when someone could be seriously unwell.
“The best way to prevent meningitis and septicaemia is vaccination. We encourage all parents to take up the offer of the routine vaccines that are included in the immunisation schedule for their children.”
Meningitis and septicaemia are deadly diseases that strike without warning. One in ten people affected will die and a third of survivors will be left with after-effects, some as serious as brain damage, amputations, blindness or hearing loss.
The vast majority of people who come into contact with the bacteria do not become unwell or develop any symptoms but occasionally the bacteria invade the body and cause serious illness.