Journal Article

Early Discharge of Low-Risk Febrile Neutropenic Children and Adolescents with Cancer

Victor M. Aquino, Isabelle Tkaczewski and George R. Buchanan

in Clinical Infectious Diseases

Published on behalf of Infectious Diseases Society of America

Volume 25, issue 1, pages 74-78
Published in print July 1997 | ISSN: 1058-4838
Published online July 1997 | e-ISSN: 1537-6591 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1086/514512
Early Discharge of Low-Risk Febrile Neutropenic Children and Adolescents with Cancer

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During the past decade, a relatively lower-risk patient population of febrile neutropenic children with cancer (over one-half of all these patients) has been identified. These patients can be safely discharged from the hospital before their absolute neutrophil count (ANC) exceeds 500/mm3. To evaluate the practice of early discharge of these patients, 580 consecutive episodes of chemotherapyinduced febrile neutropenia in 253 children and adolescents with cancer between June 1992 and May 1995 were reviewed. Three hundred thirty episodes ended in discharge before the patient's ANC was >500/mm3. Patients were characterized as being at relatively lower risk if they had sterile blood cultures, were afebrile for >24 hours, appeared well, and were thought to have evidence of marrow recovery. Of the 330 episodes, only 21 (6%) were associated with admission for recurrent fever during the subsequent 7 days. In retrospect, in only six of these 21 cases of readmission (or 2% of 330 episodes) was there evidence of bone marrow recovery, and none of the blood cultures were positive during the subsequent hospitalization. All patients who met low-risk criteria fared well during their second hospitalization. This early discharge strategy was safe and resulted in substantial cost savings.

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Subjects: Infectious Diseases ; Immunology ; Public Health and Epidemiology ; Microbiology

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