Over 40% of cases of Meningitis in the UK were not identified as being bacterial or viral. This is concerning, as the exact risk precautions and need for antibiotics are not established accurately.
A lumbar puncture to make the true diagnosis of Meningitis, as well as a classification of bacterial vs. viral, is critical. 17 hours was the average amount of time for the lumbar puncture to be ordered. Why this delay?
So why the delay? Unless there is suspicion of a brain shift, the lumbar may be considered a lower risk procedure for diagnostics.
If a patient is presenting with the typically well-known Meningitis symptoms such as headache, fever, stiff neck and altered mental state, further review by a medical specialist is urgent.