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Management of Hospitalized Febrile Neonates Without CSF Analysis: A Study of US Pediatric Hospitals Open Access (recommended)


Resource type(s)
Journal Article
Fever/cerebrospinal fluid*
Attribution 3.0 United States

McMillan-Wilhoit, Jefferson Everett
OBJECTIVE:Management of febrile neonates includes obtaining blood, urine, and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) cultures with hospitalization for empiric parenteral antibiotic therapy. Outcomes and management for neonates were compared based on whether CSF was obtained.METHODS:This multicenter retrospective review of the 2002 to 2012 Pediatric Health Information System database included hospitalized infants aged 28 days (neonates) admitted to an inpatient ward with a diagnosis code for fever or neonatal fever. Patients admitted to an ICU or with a complex chronic condition diagnosis code were excluded. Neonates were categorized as full septic workup (FSW; charge codes for blood, urine, and CSF culture or cell count) or as partial septic workup (PSW; charge codes for blood and urine cultures only), and their data were compared.RESULTS:Of 27480 neonates with a diagnosis code for fever, 14774 underwent the FSW and 3254 had a PSW. Median length of stay was 2 days for both groups, with no significant difference in readmissions, disposition, or parenteral antibiotic administration. Neonates with a PSW had significantly greater odds of having charge codes for additional laboratory testing and imaging, and they were more likely to receive a diagnosis code for sepsis, meningitis, or bronchiolitis.CONCLUSIONS:Neonates with PSW had lengths of stay and readmission rates similar to those with FSW but were more likely to undergo additional laboratory testing and imaging. Future studies including information about clinical severity and test results may provide additional insight into the variation in practice for this patient population.
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Hospital Pediatrics

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