Evaluation of Fever in the ICU Patient

First Things First (assess & treat for the following)

  • Definition: A body temperature >38.3C (101F) represents a fever and an infectious source should be evaluated. However, 50% of episodes of fever are noninfectious.
  • Does pt have hypotension?
    • Consider sepsis (see Sepsis).
      • Proceed with fluid resuscitation.
      • Early antibiotic therapy
      • Consider need for pressors/inotropes.
      • Consider adrenal insufficiency.
  • Is pt hemodynamically stable?
  • Is the pt neutropenic?
    • Neutropenia + fever = immediate antibiotics following cultures

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Last updated: May 14, 2010