Background The empirical use of antibiotics in children with suspected meningitis is a common clinical practice worldwide that often leads to drug resistance. It is difficult to clinically differentiate bacterial when compared to viral meningitis until a culture study ofcerebral spinal fluid (CSF) Or CSF viral PCR study is performed. A ‘wait and see’ approach may lead to undesirable outcome. Bacterial Meningitis Score (BMS) is a tool that was developed to help physicians to differentiate between viral versus bacterial meningitis.
Aim To determine the usefulness if any of BMS for discriminating between bacterial or viral meningitis is young children.
Methodology We retrospectively reviewed the charts of all children (from birth till 14 years old) who were admitted with the diagnosis of meningitis to Hamad general hospital in last 2 years period.
Result A total 120 patients (68% boys) with confirmed meningitis were reviewed during the study period. The mean age was (6.3±2.7 year). The majority of patients 112 (93.3%) had viral type meningitis while the remaining had bacterial meningitis (Strep Pneumia, Neisseria meningitis and H. Influenza). The sensitivity of BMS tool revealed a sensitivity of 100% (95% CI: 75.1 to 100.0) and a specificity of 60.9% (95% CI:50.1–69.7).
Conclusion Our study shows that BMS is a simple, easy and highly sensitive tool that can differentiate bacterial from viral meningitis and it is use may limit the use of unnecessary antibiotic s and hospitalizations.