Pre-hospital symptoms associated with acute bacterial meningitis differs between children and adults

Nichlas Hovmand*, Helle Collatz Christensen, Lene Fogt Lundbo, Gitte Kronborg, Perle Darsø, Stig Nikolaj Fasmer Blomberg, Thomas Benfield

*Corresponding author af dette arbejde


Community acquired bacterial meningitis (CABM) is a medical emergency requiring timely appropriate action. More knowledge about pre-hospital symptoms is needed. Retrospective observational study of pre-hospital management in patients with CABM between 2016 and 2021 admitted to a hospital in the Capital Region of Denmark. Reported symptoms were extracted from archived audio files of the initial phone call to emergency medical service. The majority of the 209 patients (82%) were adults. The most common symptoms were altered mental state (58%) and fever (57%), while neck stiffness was less common (9%). Children more often presented with fever, fatigue, rashes, and neck stiffness, while adults more often presented with altered mental state, and leg pain. Most patients (85%) reported at least 1 of the 3 symptoms in the classical triad of meningitis, while 3% reported all 3. Children more often presented at least 2 of 3 symptoms in the triad. One child (3%) and 7 adults (4%) received antibiotics pre-admission. Patients with CABM reported a variety of symptoms that differed significantly in children and adults. The classic triad was rare. Very few patients received antibiotics pre-admission. We suggest that questioning relevant symptoms should be done in febrile or mentally altered patients.

TidsskriftScientific Reports
Udgave nummer1
Sider (fra-til)21479
StatusUdgivet - 6 dec. 2023


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