Health Update: Doctors resist penicillin advice

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Indy Lifestyle Online
MORE than 50 per cent of GPs would not always give penicillin to patients with suspected meningitis, despite evidence that early treatment with antibiotics can save lives, says a survey by Monitor Weekly.

Government advice to GPs earlier this year said all suspected cases of bacterial meningitis should be treated with penicillin by the GP before hospital admission. This follows a study in the British Medical Journal which found that when GPs gave penicillin to suspected meningitis cases death rates were cut by 40 per cent.

But 57 out of 100 GPs surveyed said they would not necessarily follow the new advice. Reasons given ranged from uncertainty about diagnosis to fears of a severe allergic reaction to penicillin in the patient.