The microbiology department at a North London hospital audited notifications of suspected meningococcal disease in response to a reported high rate, which it suspected was due to over-reporting out of hours to public health specialists. All cases notified over a 14-month period were assessed with regards to time of reporting and subsequent microbiological confirmation. Of 36 notifications, 18 were confirmed as bacterial, mostly meningococcal meningitis. Of the four types of sample readily obtainable on admission (blood culture, ethylene diamine tetra-acetic acid [EDTA] blood sample, throat swab and acute serum) all were obtained in only two cases. The reporting was considered appropriate, reflecting the relatively high incidence of meningococcal disease (MD) within the local population. Further cases might perhaps have been laboratory confirmed had all samples been sent on admission. A single form requesting all four samples in suspected meningococcal disease cases is recommended. Informing public health specialists out of hours could be rationalised.
|Number of pages||3|
|Journal||Communicable disease and public health / PHLS|
|Publication status||Published - Dec 2004|