Speaking at MRF’s conference, Professor Paul Heath from St George’s University of London said, “There are many challenges we face in defeating meningitis in babies under three months of age. Our study highlighted the difficulties in diagnosing this condition as well as variations in treatment across the UK. It is clear that better recognition and management is essential if lives are to be saved and complications of meningitis minimised.
Vinny Smith, Chief Executive of MRF said, “With babies being one of the most at risk groups for bacterial meningitis, we are dedicated to helping improve diagnosis and treatment in this vulnerable age group. Research is highlighting why it is so difficult for parents and health professionals alike to recognise the non-specific symptoms in young infants, and more importantly what can be done about it.”
“The study by experts at St George’s recommended a targeted campaign for education and harmonisation of practice. In response, MRF has worked with the study investigators and the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health to create a teaching package to aid best practice. The educational package has been piloted by paediatricians and we hope that it can ultimately improve outcomes for young infants and their families.”
This new package includes an eTool to help clinicians recognise clinical features of bacterial meningitis in young infants; a lumbar puncture information sheet to help doctors explain this procedure to parents; and an algorithm to aid management of bacterial meningitis.
The eTool is available at: neonatal.meningitis.org.