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Determination of fever in intensive care unit

Background and goals

Fever is a common problem in intensive care unit (ICU) [1]. Fever is a cardinal feature of both infective and non-infective inflammatory process [2].

Materials and methods

We studied 50 patients between July and October 2000 in the ICU. Core temperatures were determined with the use of a rectal thermometer probe. Determination of the APACHE-II score was made of all patients. Blood cultures were obtained on all febrile patients. On each occasion at least two blood cultures from different sites were obtained. Fever was defined as a core temperature of = 38.4°C.


The mean APACHE-II score was (16 ± 0.6). The isolation of Enterobacter aerogenes, Pseudomonas aeroginosa, coagulase-negative staphylococcus, pseudomanas spp. and Staphylococcus epidermitidis.


Fever is common and that caused by infective and non-infective processes in approximately equal number. For this reason, in treatment, the empirical coverage of all fevers in the ICU with antibiotics is not necessary [3].

Table The patients' cause of admission


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Kizilkaya, M., Sahin, M., Dogan, N. et al. Determination of fever in intensive care unit. Crit Care 6 (Suppl 1), P78 (2002).

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