- Start antibiotics immediately. Do not wait for the result of the blood culture.
- Treat shock if it is present.
- Transfer the patient urgently to hospital. Give oxygen during transport.
- Look for an underlying cause and monitor for complications such as organ failure.
The fist choice of antibiotics is either:
- Benzyl penicillin 50 000 units/kg every 6 hours intravenously (or ampicillin 50 mg/kg every 6 hours intravenously) plus gentamicin 7.5 mg/kg daily (or amikacin 20 mg/kg daily), given slowly intravenously over 5 minutes.
- Ceftriaxone 80 mg/kg daily intramuscularly or by slow intravenous injection. This is very useful in a primary care facility before the child is transferred to hospital.