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Febrile kids – workup and management review

October 14, 2016

Short Attention Span Summary

A review worth reading
Workup of febrile infants is challenging.  This is a very helpful review article, worth reading.  The gist is that things are changing in the workup of febrile infants <90 days and are becoming more targeted.  In vaccinated kids 3mo – 36 months, UTI is the primary serious bacterial infection of concern.

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This review article is worth reading if you see pediatric patients.  You may want to use the Read app below.  CHOP has a nice clinical pathway.

Read is a good thing

Read is a good thing


JAMA Pediatr. 2016 Aug 1;170(8):794-800. doi: 10.1001/jamapediatrics.2016.0596.

Evaluation and Management of Febrile Children: A Review.

Cioffredi LA1, Jhaveri R2.

Author information:

1Division of General Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Medicine, Chapel Hill.

2Division of Infectious Diseases, Department of Pediatrics, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Medicine, Chapel Hill.



Management of febrile children is an intrinsic aspect of pediatric practice. Febrile children account for 15% of emergency department visits and outcomes range from the presence of serious bacterial infection to benign self-limited illness.


Studies from 1979 to 2015 examining febrile infants and children were included in this review. Management of febrile infants younger than 90 days has evolved considerably in the last 30 years. Increased rates of Escherichia coli urinary tract infections, increasing resistance to ampicillin, and advances in viral diagnostics have had an effect on the approach to caring for these patients. Widespread vaccination with conjugate vaccines against Haemophilus influenzae and Streptococcus pneumoniae has virtually eliminated the concern for bacterial infections in children aged 3 to 36 months. Urinary tract infections still remain a concern in febrile infants of all ages.


Advances over the last 30 years allow for more precise risk stratification for infants at high risk of serious bacterial infection. With appropriate testing at the initial visit, much of the diagnostic testing and empirical treatment can be avoided for infants younger than 90 days. In the vaccinated child aged 3 to 36 months, the only bacterial infection of concern is urinary tract infection.

PMID: 27322346 [PubMed – in process]

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