Aadapted from Simon and Everitt, 2008 (Free access)

 

Cause

 

 

Clinical features

 

What to do

 

 
Meningitis

 

Fever, photophobia, stiff neck, rash, photophobia, limb pain, cold peripheries, mottled skin and bulging fontanelle(babies).

 

 

 
Immediate admission

 

Encephalitis

 

Fever, confusion and reduced level of consciousness.

 

 

Immediate admission

 

 
Subarachnoid haemorrhage

 

‘Thunderclap’ headache, possibly with sore neck. Other clinical signs may be scanty.

 

 

 
Immediate admission

 

Head injury

 

Physical signs (e.g. bruising) or history of head injury.

 


Consider admission

 

 
Acute febrile illness

 

Fever and other symptoms of the underlying cause. E.g. tonsillitis or upper respiratory infection

.

 

 
Treat the underlying cause

 

 
Sinusitis

 

Tender over sinuses.  History of sinus pain or upper respiratory infections.

 

 

Consider steam inhalation, antibiotics and/or steroid nasal spray.

 

Dental caries

 

Facial pain and tenderness.

 

 

Consider antibiotics. Refer to dentist

.

 

Tropical illness

 

Recent travel to tropics and fever.

 

 

Consider admission

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