Effect of age on febrile response in patients with healthcare-associated bloodstream infection

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Abstract

Objective:

This study aimed to determine the effect of age on febrile response in patients with healthcare-associated bloodstream infection (BSI).

Methods:

This was a retrospective observational study using medical records as the primary source of data. Three indicators measured body temperature changes: basal body temperature (BBT), body temperature at infection onset (onset T), and maximum temperature (max T) during the infection period.

Results:

In a sample of 230 patients there was no significant correlation between BBT or onset T and age. Max T was significantly correlated with age (r = −.191, p = .004). There was wide variation in onset T in all age groups.

Conclusions:

Age showed no effect on BBT and onset T, but blunted max T in patients with bacteremia. This variability in onset T in all age groups emphasizes the need for early recognition of subtle signs of infection and the need to use an individualized definition of fever.

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