- 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.
Fever Clinical Card
Chung AB, Bannister SL, Keegan DA. Fever. Canadian Family Medicine Clinical Card. 2011. Available at: https://sites.google.com/site/sharcfm/
Top 10 differential diagnoses in family medicine - Fever
Ponka D, Kirlew M. Top 10 differential diagnoses in family medicine: Fever. Can Fam Physician. 2007;53(7):1202. doi: 53/7/1202 [pii].
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.