Fever

  • Perform a focused history and physical exam to determine presence of fever, fever pattern, and associated symptoms and signs, so as to:
    • Make a determination as to whether a patient truly has/ had a fever, and whether it is acute versus chronic.
    • Identify patients with serious illness
      • Demonstrate good understanding of the potential causes of fever, including infection, malignancy, drugs, environment (sun, heat).
      • Recognize the red flags of fever.
  • Recognize special groups where fever has different significance or impact (neonates, elderly patients, travel/immigrant issues, under-immunized groups, living conditions, immunocompromised individuals).
  • Propose a plan for appropriate investigation of possible causes, based on the local context, especially in the pediatric patient.
  • Propose a basic plan of management that includes:
    • At home measures including antipyretics.
    • Guidance for patients/caregivers on how to access care depending on evolution of illness.

Core Resources

Fever Clinical Card

Chung AB, Bannister SL, Keegan DA. Fever. Canadian Family Medicine Clinical Card. 2011. Available at: https://sites.google.com/site/sharcfm/

Approach to the Adult Patient with FUO

Roth AR, Basello GM. Approach to the adult patient with fever of unknown origin. Am Fam Physician. 2003;68(11):2223-2228.