Young person is seated at a worktop, grimacing with her right hand on her neck and left hand on her forehead. Two young people are looking on.

How confident do you feel about helping someone who has meningitis?

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Sarah has a neutral expression.

Sarah and her friends are revising together when she realises that Liv could be seriously ill. She has to decide what action to take.

Young person is seated looking at a laptop in a bedroom as two other smile and look on.

We were in Liv’s room studying together for our exams. We were all a bit stressed but Liv was feeling particularly ill that day. She seemed to be getting flu.

Young person with half closed eyes is sitting at a laptop as two others look on and talk to each other.

Liv was hot and sweaty one minute and cold and shivering the next. She also had a bad headache. She had taken as much cold and flu medicine as the packet said to but nothing seemed to help.

Young person is seated at a worktop, grimacing with her right hand on her neck and left hand on her forehead. Two young people are looking on.

Her headache got worse, and then she started to complain that her neck had become really stiff and sore.

Young person is seated at a worktop, grimacing with her right hand on her neck and left hand on her forehead. Two young people are looking on.

I was worried about her as this didn’t seem like ordinary flu. We closed some of the blinds as she said the light was too bright for her eyes.

Seated young person is grimacing and holding her neck and forehead as a standing helper makes a phone call.

It was then that I remembered hearing that a stiff neck and being sensitive to light could be signs of someone having meningitis. I checked on my first aid app and realised she actually had lots of the signs of meningitis. It said it was really serious.

Seated young person is grimacing and holding her shoulder and forehead as two standing helpers talk and look at their phone.

I asked Mae what she thought we should do. I just wasn’t sure, meningitis seemed so serious. What if we were wrong and wasting people’s time? She said we should call, it wasn’t worth the risk.

Person holding their phone to their ear as one person looks on and another has their head on a desk.

So I did and told the person on the phone everything I could and they sent an ambulance to us straight away.

Two standing helpers each put a hand on the back of a seated young person who has their head on a desk and pain on their face.

Liv had a long stay in hospital but if Mae and I hadn’t helped, her illness could have been much worse. I’m just relieved I remembered what to look out for and had the support to call 999 and take action.

Mae supported Sarah when she realised Liv was very unwell. What would you do if someone was ill, but your friends didn’t think it was serious enough to call for help?

What is the most important thing to do if you think someone has meningitis?

A friend is unwell and you are convinced they have meningitis, but they don’t have all the symptoms. What should you do?

Young person is seated looking at a laptop in a bedroom as two other smile and look on.

How confident do you feel about helping someone who has meningitis?

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Not at all
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Totally
Seated young person is grimacing and holding her neck and forehead as a standing helper makes a phone call.

Take action: If someone has meningitis, call 999.

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