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Acute Meningococcemia

acutemeningococcemia.jpgThe South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (SCDHEC) deployed VisualDx throughout all of its 67 health care facilities, clinics, and hospitals. 

At Greenville Memorial Hospital, a nurse practitioner treated a 3-year-old boy who was initially triaged to the non-acute side of the emergency department with complaints of a sore throat. He was assessed with a streptococcal infection. At the end of his emergency shift, Dr. William Finn, an emergency medicine physician, came over to review the patients on the non-acute side of the emergency department.

The young patient did not appear ill, but his mother mentioned he had recently developed skin lesions. After Dr. Finn examined the lesions, he turned to VisualDx to search for images consistent with streptococcal-induced rash. The images he found did not match his direct observations.

Continuing his VisualDx research, Dr. Finn discovered images of meningococcal-related rashes that were consistent with his observations. He immediately ordered blood cultures and began a course of empiric IV antibiotics. The cultures indeed confirmed the diagnosis of acute meningococcemia, and after transfer to the pediatric tertiary hospital, the child fully recovered.

An astute physician, Dr. Finn recounted how the direct comparison of meningococcal and streptococcal images with VisualDx underscored the urgency of the situation and assisted in a timely and accurate diagnosis.

– Dr. William Finn, Emergency Medicine Physician, Greenville Memorial Hospital