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Recognising haemorrhagic rash in children with fever: a survey of parents' knowledge


Background Early recognition and treatment of meningococcal disease improves its outcome. Haemorrhagic rash is one of the most specific signs that parents can learn to recognise.

Objective To determine the percentage of parents able to recognise a haemorrhagic rash and perform the tumbler test.

Methods 123 parents of children consulting for mild injuries were interviewed about the significance and recognition of haemorrhagic rash in febrile children.

Results Although 88% of parents undressed their children when they were febrile, it was never to look specifically for a skin rash. Only 7% (95% CI 3% to 12%) were able to recognise a petechial rash and knew the tumbler test.

Conclusion Information campaigns about the significance of haemorrhagic rash and about the tumbler test are needed.

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