In a retrospective study, a comparison was made of clinical and laboratory data in 14 patients with meningococcaemia and 40 patients with meningococcal meningitis. Significant differences were found in duration of symptoms, onset of purpura, presence of shock, initial WBC, ESR, and serum fibrin degradation products. The overall mortality rate in this series was 7%, 4 patients with meningococcaemia dying, but none with meningococcal meningitis. This study indicates the importance of clinical and pathological grading of patients with meningococcaemia. Death occurred only in patients presenting with 3 or more of the adverse factors detailed.
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