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Mortality in severe meningococcal disease


AIM To evaluate mortality of critically ill children admitted with meningococcal disease.

METHODS Prospective study of all children admitted to a regional paediatric intensive care unit (PICU) between January 1995 and March 1998 with meningococcal disease. Outcome measures were actual overall mortality, predicted mortality (by PRISM), and standardised mortality ratio.

RESULTS A total of 123 children were admitted with meningococcal disease. There was an overall PICU mortality of 11 children (8.9%). The total mortality predicted by PRISM was 24.9. The standardised mortality ratio (SMR) was 0.44. Results were compared with those from four previously published meningococcal PICU studies (USA, Australia, UK, Netherlands) in which PRISM scores were calculated. The overall PICU mortality and SMR were lower than those in the previously published studies.

CONCLUSION Compared with older studies and calibrating for disease severity, this study found a decrease in the mortality of critically ill children with meningococcal disease.

  • meningococcal disease
  • mortality
  • standardised mortality ratio
  • critical care

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