Identifying and treating a life-threatening disease
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Identifying and treating a life-threatening disease

Beverley Cole Minor injury unit staff nurse, Trowbridge Community Hospital, Wiltshire, Emergency department

Beverley Cole provides a case study that illustrates why urgent care staff should be alert to the signs and symptoms of meningococcal septicaemia

Meningococcal septicaemia is a life-threatening condition that all nurses working in emergency and urgent care settings are likely to come across during their careers. This article presents, and reflects on, a case study involving a woman with the disease whose signs and symptoms were atypical, and who was not therefore diagnosed with the condition immediately. The author aims to raise awareness among emergency nurses and nurse practitioners of the atypical signs and symptoms of the infection, and its consequences. The article also discusses how referring to patient scenarios can improve practice.

Emergency Nurse. 21, 9, 18-21. doi: 10.7748/en2014.


Peer review

This article has been subject to double blind peer review

Conflict of interest

None declared

Received: 18 October 2013

Accepted: 09 January 2014