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Table 5 Cause of death and timing of appropriate antibiotic treatment for bacterial meningitis. Data was available for 74 of 84 patients. No significant differences in time to treatment for bacterial meningitis was found (Kruskal-Wallis test, p > 0.05)

From: The cause of death in bacterial meningitis

 Time to treatment for bacterial meningitis0 to 2 h2 to 6 h> 6 h
Data available for 74 of 84 patientsHours (median and quartiles)23 of 74 (31%)16 of 74 (22%)35 of 74 (47%)
1. CNS complications (n = 32)4.4 (1.3 to 22.4)11 of 23 (48%)6 of 16 (38%)15 of 35 (43%)
 Brain herniation (n = 7)1.0 (0.5 to 8.6)502
 Brain infarct (n = 5)25.0 (5.2 to 52.5)104
 Brain haemorrhage (n = 1)2.0100
 Intractable seizures (n = 6)11.0 (2.3 to 31.0)123
 Global brain injury /unresponsive (n = 9)10.5 (3.3 to 34.8)126
 CNS complications not further specified (n = 4)2.4 (1.3 to 4.5)220
2. Systemic complications (n = 28)5.3 (1.9 to 21.5)7 of 23 (30%)8 of 16 (50%)13 of 35 (37%)
 Circulatory failure /septic shock (n = 10)8.2 (1.0 to 40.8)316
 Respiratory failure (n = 7)6.0 (3.5 to 20.0)133
 Other organ failure (n = 2)9.5 (1.0 to 18.0)101
 Systemic complications not futher specified (n = 9)3.9 (1.9 to 18.2)243
3. Combined CNS and systemic causes (n = 3)1.3 (0.6 to 4.5)2 of 23 (9%)1 of 16 (6%)0 of 35 (0%)
4. Sudden unexpected death (n = 5)18.0 (1.9 to 39.0)1 of 23 (4%)1 of 16 (6%)3 of 35 (9%)
5. Withdrawel of care (n = 4)4.2 (0.9 to 20.0)2 of 23 (9%)0 of 16 (0%)2 of 35 (6%)
6. Unable to determine cause of death (n = 2)25.1 (24.0 to 26.3)0 of 23 (0%)0 of 16 (0%)2 of 35 (6%)