Monday, October 5, 2009


"Roughly half of those who present to a children’s emergency department come in with a history of fever. Fever is frightening to parents, because it changes the appearance and behaviour of our children, and because as parents we are very aware that some fevers are associated with dangerous disease. Physicians know that the vast majority of fevers are caused by simple viral illness, and that most can be managed safely at home ..."

Click here to read more.



Anonymous said...

Fever can also be an early warning sign of infection.It bothers me to know children and adults can be sent home with a life threatening medical condition.The early warning signs of septicemia are often missed.A beautiful little boy in NF was sent home with a 105 temp and bluish spots on his body.He died hours later because the hospital failed to treat him.A case of meningitis was also dismissed here in NS.Again,refusal of antibiotics could have stopped the infection days earlier.Then the case of Meningitis was covered up.

Brett W. Taylor, MD, FRCP(Peds), MHI said...

It is true; fever can be an early sign of sepsis or meningitis. And it is also true that no medical practitioner is error free. So we will always have stories, particularly in this internet connected age, of catastrophic illness associated with fever that has been missed by either parents or medical care givers.

The thing to remember is that this is very rare; so rare, in fact, that if we gave antibiotics to every child with a fever, the side effects of the drugs would cause more illness than that caused by bacterial infection. In other words, blindly giving antibiotics actually makes the population sicker, not better.

We have to be selective. That means we have to make choices, and that means there will be errors. That is a fact that bothers us all.

Want to minimize this risk? Immunize your child .... the shots given in infancy protect against most of the causes of meningitis and sepsis found in Canada.

Thanks for the post.