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Improving hearing assessment of children post-meningitis – 7 years on and have we maintained our standards?
  1. M O Edwards,
  2. A Roberts
  1. Child Health, Cardiff and Vale NHS University Trust, Cardiff, UK


Introduction Early diagnosis of children with hearing loss is vital to aid successful rehabilitation. Children recovering from bacterial meningitis need to have hearing assessments as there is a high risk of hearing loss.

Method This was a retrospective audit of all children diagnosed with meningitis (viral & bacterial) from 1 January 2009 to 31 December 2009 at UHW. All children who had PCR testing performed (on blood or CSF) for meningococcus or pneumococcus, or were coded on discharge as meningitis were included. Laboratory results and discharge coding information was then analysed and the results were compared to three audits carried out over the last 15 years.

A total of 329 children had PCR testing done;

  • Of these – 49 children were diagnosed with meningitis. A further 14 children were diagnosed with meningitis but had no local PCR results. Total number of children with discharge coding of meningitis – 63.

  • 50 children with bacterial meningitis and 13 children with viral meningitis.

  • However only 25 children had hearing tests arranged on discharge from hospital, although a further 20 children were transferred to other hospitals.

  • 94% of children diagnosed with bacterial meningitis had hearing tests performed.

Conclusion There are a significant number of children having PCR testing for meningitis, but only 15% are discharged with a diagnosis of meningitis. Of the children with bacterial meningitis almost all are being referred for audiology assessment, however there is some discrepancy over the referral of children with viral meningitis.

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