Children undergoing chemotherapy are susceptible to infections due to reduced function of the immune system (neutropenia). Infections in children with cancer are potentially life-threatening, especially before the child has started antibiotics.
Fever is often the only symptom. Symptoms such as lethargia, vomiting, and diarrhea may also be signs. Inflammation with redness, pain, swelling, and reduced organ function are often very mild or absent with neutropenia.
Children with a fever should be immediately admitted to the hospital.
When broad spectrum antibiotics are given, the fever should be monitored.
When taking high-dose cytarabin, most children will develop a fever and raised CRP. This is drug-induced and should not be treated with antibiotics, however, the child's clinical status must be assessed.
- Prevention of sepsis
- The child is able to complete treatment