Table 1

Definitions

GroupDefinition
Eligible infantsInfants <90 days of age in whom a bacterium was isolated from the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF), or where a significant bacterial pathogen was isolated from blood together with CSF pleocytosis (defined as ≥20 cells/mm3 for infants 0–28 days of age and ≥10 cells/mm3 for infants 29–89 days of age)11–13
Age at diagnosisEarly onset (0–6 days) and late onset (7–89 days)
Home admissionInfants admitted to hospital from home
InpatientsInfants already in hospital at the time, either in the neonatal unit, birthing centre or postnatal ward
Time from onset to first helpThe time from when parents noticed the first clinical feature to the time they sought any type of help (phone call or visit)
Time from onset to first dose of antibioticsThe time from appearance of first clinical feature to first dose of antibiotics
Time from triage to first dose of antibioticsThe time from when infant was triaged by a nurse to the time of administration of the first dose of antibiotics
‘In hours’ (www.hscic.gov.uk)Triage in hospital between the hours of 09:00 and 18:00
AppropriatenessAdvice given prior to admission was judged as appropriate or inappropriate; choice of empiric antibiotics and duration of antibiotics were appropriate if in conformity with existing guidelines; for example, the use of any antibiotics other than amoxicillin and cefotaxime/ceftriaxone in any infant admitted from home would be classified as inappropriate