Acute fever

Jeffrey R. Avner

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

23 Scopus citations

Abstract

• Based on strong research evidence, there is no single value for normal body temperature; body temperature varies with a variety of specific individual and environmental factors, including age, sex, physical activity, ambient air temperature, and anatomic site of measurement. (6)(7) • Based on some research evidence, parental report of fever to touch has limited validity and possibly is more useful to exclude rather than to confirm the presence of fever. (10)(11) • Based on some research evidence, clinical appearance rather than the height of fever is a more powerful predictor of serious illness. (4)(14) • Based on some research evidence as well as on consensus, the utility of routine blood cultures and complete blood count is diminished in the evaluation of otherwise healthy, well-appearing, febrile 3- to 36-month-old children who have received pneumococcal vaccine. (17)(18)(19) • Based on strong research evidence, acetaminophen and ibuprofen have similar safety and analgesic effects for moderate and severe pain, but ibuprofen is a more effective antipyretic and provides a longer duration of antipyresis. (25) • Based on strong research evidence, fevers due to serious infection (such as bacteremia) are as responsive to antipyretic therapy as is less serious infection. Therefore, a reduction in the height of the temperature after antipyretic therapy does not distinguish between infectious causes. However, clinical experience indicates that a child who has a serious illness often continues to appear ill after fever is reduced, whereas the appearance of a child who has a benign illness usually improves. (29).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5-14
Number of pages10
JournalPediatrics in review
Volume30
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2009

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health

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