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Emergency Medicine International
Volume 2012 (2012), Article ID 320309, 8 pages
Review Article

Diagnosis and Management of Bacterial Meningitis in the Paediatric Population: A Review

1Sydney Children’s Hospital, Randwick, NSW, Australia
2Intensive Care Unit, Royal North Shore Hospital, St Leonards, NSW 2065, Australia

Received 3 March 2012; Accepted 3 August 2012

Academic Editor: Chamisa Macindoe

Copyright © 2012 Catherine L. Tacon and Oliver Flower. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Paediatric bacterial meningitis is a neurological emergency which, despite advances in medical management, still has a significant morbidity and mortality. Over recent decades new vaccines have led to a change in epidemiology of the disease; however, it remains a condition that requires a high index of suspicion, prompt diagnosis, and early management in the emergency department. New laboratory techniques and clinical tools are aiding the diagnosis of bacterial meningitis, yet some controversies still exist in its management. This paper outlines the changing epidemiology of the disease, current diagnostic techniques as well as controversies and advances in the management of bacterial meningitis in the paediatric population.