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First aid for someone who has

Watch the video, in which Amie gets help when she has meningitis.

Use the information below to remind yourself how to help someone who has meningitis.


The person may have flu-like symptoms, a headache and a high temperature. The person may also complain of a stiff neck and be sensitive to light. At a later stage a rash may form (that does not disappear when a glass is pressed against it).

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Other symptoms include cold hands and feet, joint pain, drowsiness and vomiting. A person with meningitis can have one or more symptoms, and some symptoms occur later on as the infection develops.


Call 999 when you observe these symptoms.

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Do not wait for all the symptoms to appear. A person with meningitis can deteriorate very quickly. It is potentially very serious and needs immediate attention.


Give constant reassurance until help arrives.

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If they have a fever, you can use cold drinks to cool the person.


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Send us your stories

We love to hear from people who have stepped forward to help in a first aid emergency. If you have a first aid story that you'd be happy to share, please email including your name, telephone number and some brief details about what happened. The British Red Cross will only use your information to contact you about your first aid story.

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