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TWO YOUNGSTERS' STORIES.

| Name: Emma | Age: Three | Cost to NHS: PS3,161,944 Emma was three years old when her mother took her to the GP with a fever, seizures and reduced consciousness. She was rushed to hospital via 999 ambulance.

She was diagnosed with meningitis. She had raised intracranial pressure and intractable seizures and required ventilation and intubation.

Acute hydrocephalus was immediately treated by insertion of an external ventricular drain and later by insertion of a shunt. She required prolonged airways management for neurological complications, including seizures.

Once stable she was transferred to a paediatric ward where she spent five months recovering and undergoing specialist neurological rehabilitation under the care of the brain injury rehabilitation team.

The total cost of the acute episode within this scenario, which includes visiting the GP, ambulance transfer, A&E investigations, paediatric critical care transportation, 26 days in a PICU bed, hospital provider spell, CT scan, MRI scan and rehabilitation for brain injuries on a paediatric ward for 150 days, is a huge PS131,670.

As well as many other disabilities that Emma was left with as a result of meningitis, she was also left profoundly deaf, and was urgently referred for bilateral cochlear implantation.

Following the initial implant operation, she became a lifelong outpatient of the implant centre for regular care and technical support.

The lifelong cost of this alone is PS271,247 and the total lifelong costs for this child to be treated under the NHS and other services for meningitis and the devastating effects that this had on her is a massive PS3,161,944 - that is the cost of 42,159 meningitis B vaccines.

| Name: Peter | Age: One | Cost to NHS: PS2,738,550 Peter was 12 months old when he visited the GP with a fever and a rash and was subsequently rushed to hospital with suspected meningococcal disease.

He was taken to the emergency department by ambulance and from there transferred to PICU by a retrieval team. Peter spent 31 days in PICU with severe septic shock, acute respiratory distress syndrome and renal failure. He also developed gangrene of the limbs.

Peter had to return to theatre several times for tissue debridement and dressing changes under anaesthetic. Once his wounds had begun to heal a little, Peter also underwent various skin grafting operations to repair damaged skin on his remaining limbs. In total he was in hospital for six months.

The total cost of the acute episode within this scenario, which includes visiting the GP, ambulance transfer, A&E investigations, paediatric critical care transportation, 31 days in a PICU bed, hospital provider spell, CT scan, MRI scan and amputations on a paediatric ward with the implications and support that goes with this for 150 days, is PS151,651.

Peter requires a lifelong supply of prosthetics, which need changing regularly to assist with his growth. The lifelong cost of this is PS655,024.

He also requires community health support, specialist equipment, corrective surgery, and additional educational costs.

The total lifelong cost for this child to be treated under the NHS and other services for meningitis, septicaemia and the devastating side effects that come with this is PS2,738,550 - this would provide 36,514 meningitis B vaccines.
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Publication:The Journal (Newcastle, England)
Date:Mar 16, 2016
Words:535
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