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Eroding the trust

BMJ 1997; 314 doi: (Published 11 January 1997) Cite this as: BMJ 1997;314:152
  1. Justine Foster
  1. general practitioner, Gloucester

    Every parent worries about meningitis, especially in Gloucestershire. When 4 year old Amy developed a high temperature and headache one evening her mother, both sensible and experienced, requested a home visit. I found Amy to have no signs of meningitis and discussed the probability of a viral illness and the course that this might take. The headline in the local paper that evening, which both the parents and I had seen, referred to a local teenager who was recovering from meningitis.

    In the early hours of the next day I received another request to visit Amy, as her headache had worsened. On arrival I found her condition had improved considerably following a vomit, and there was no change on examination. Parents are very much aware that general practitioners can miss early meningitis as they read about such cases in …

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