Evaluating postoperative fever

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Fever is one of the most common postoperative complications seen in medical and surgical settings. Clinicians taking care of these patients need to be able to differentiate between a normal physiologic response to surgery and one that may be pathologic. Pathologic causes should be further separated into infectious and noninfectious causes. A systematic approach to febrile postoperative patients can help clinicians make better use of resources, limit costly workups, and improve patient outcomes.

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