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antipyretics, blood culture, febrile patient, fever, hyperthermia, intensive care



  1. Ferguson, Anne


Fever is a common complaint in hospitalized patients, with estimates that more than 30% of ward patients and as much as 90% of critically ill patients will experience fever. Much of the treatment of fever, however, is based on tradition and the belief the fever is harmful to the patient rather than on scientific evidence. There is a need to determine via analysis of the literature the best evidence-based approach to the identification and treatment of fever with attention to appropriate measurement of body temperature, diagnostic evaluation, changing of indwelling catheters, administration of antipyretics, and alteration in antimicrobial therapy. The advanced practice nurse is uniquely capable of gathering this evidence and implementing a plan of care that meets the individual needs of the patient, family, nursing staff, and healthcare system.