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The European Dexamethasone study for adults with proven bacterial meningitis1 was a multi-centred double blind randomised controlled trial of 300 patients, comparing 10 mg intravenous dexamethasone six hourly for four days with placebo. The study demonstrated an absolute risk reduction (ARR) in an unfavourable outcome of 26% (95% CI 8–44%) in those patients with pneumococcal meningitis who received dexamethasone. The results were less impressive in all patients with meningitis: ARR of 8% (95% CI 1–15%) for all types of bacteria and an ARR in death of …