Some basic features of the prehospital management of children with acute bacterial meningitis were ascertained by a retrospective review of case notes. A diagnosis of intracranial infection was considered in 63% of general practitioners' referral letters and was more often considered for older than younger children. 47% of children had received antibacterial chemotherapy before hospital admission. Such treatment did not appear to have jeopardized the outcome. The possibility of delay in the admission of children to hospital at weekends is discussed.
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