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Editor's Correspondence
July 24, 2000

Oral Antibiotics and Outcome in Meningococcemia—Reply

Arch Intern Med. 2000;160(14):2221. doi:

In reply

We are grateful for the favorable comments and suggestions of Nonell and colleagues, and we consider their question about whether there are differences between the capacity of preadmission antibiotic therapy administered parenterally or orally to prevent the mortality and sequelae of meningococcal disease to be extremely interesting. Of the 281 patients in our study who underwent preadmission antibiotic therapy, 40 (14.2%) received it parenterally while 241 (85.8%) received it orally. No patient of those who received parenteral preadmission antibiotic therapy presented sequelae or died. Statistically significant differences were found between the administration of preadmission antibiotics, either parenterally or orally, and the lack of preadmission antibiotic therapy, in relation to mortality and sequelae (Table 1). No statistically significant differences were found between parenteral and oral preadmission antibiotic therapy in their capacity to prevent death or sequelae in patients with meningococcal disease. However, the small number of cases with prior parenteral antibiotic therapy could explain this absence of statistical significance.

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