Outcomes of observation without empiric intravenous antibiotics in febrile, nonneutropenic pediatric oncology patients

Natalie Wu*, William J Muller, Elaine R Morgan

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


There are no consensus guidelines for management of pediatric oncology patients presenting with fever and nonneutropenia, with limited research into the outcomes of withholding empiric i.v. antibiotics. We conducted a prospective cohort study assessing the safety and efficacy of observing well-appearing patients presenting with fever and nonneutropenia (absolute neutrophil count ≥ 500 cells/mm 3 ). Of 238 episodes, 82.7% patients were observed with no infectious complications and low overall incidence of bacteremia (3.4%). There were no significant differences in individual clinical variables. We propose that observation alone in some well-appearing febrile pediatric oncology patients is safe and limits the use of unnecessary empiric antibiotics.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere27550
JournalPediatric Blood and Cancer
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2019



  • antibiotics
  • bacteremia
  • fever
  • nonneutropenia
  • observation
  • oncology
  • pediatrics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Hematology
  • Oncology

Cite this