Although rates of bacterial meningitis are low among neonates and infants, researchers estimated that febrile children in the first month of life are at nearly twice the risk for having bacterial meningitis compared with febrile children aged older than 1 month, according to a meta-analysis published in JAMA Network Open.
“The diagnosis and management of fever of an unknown source in infants represent a common clinical conundrum encountered by pediatricians, family medicine practitioners and emergency medicine clinicians,” the researchers wrote. “For decades, it has been generally accepted practice that neonates, or persons in the first month of life, with fever of an unknown source, given the assumption that they are at relatively high risk of bacteremia and meningitis, should undergo empirical and invasive evaluations that include lab work, lumbar puncture, antibiotics and hospitalization pending the exclusion of bacterial infection via microbiological culture results.”
This activity is supported by an educational grant from Indivior, Inc.
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