Variability in the management of the febrile infant under 2 months of age

Carol D. Berkowitz*, Donald P. Orr, Naomi Uchiyama, Susan B. Tully, Michael I. Reiff, Richard Marble, Martin Stein

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


The management in the emergency department of febrile infants less than 2 months of age is influenced by the standard of practice in the community. We sought to determine if uniform practices existed across the United States. Individual academically based faculty from 154 (61%) United States pediatric residency programs responding to a questionnaire on the emergency department management of febrile infants less than 2 months of age showed great variability. Twenty-nine respondents reported written policies and 103 reported informal but defined guidelines for the evaluation and management of infants seen at their institutions. There was little consensus among the respondents as to the definition of fever in this age group. Those at institutions with formal policies reported using more laboratory tests in the evaluation. Respondents differed on the number and types of tests used and on antibiotic administration. University affiliation, type of population served, or presence of advanced training programs in ambulatory pediatrics were not related to the type of policy. The care of the young febrile infant varies greatly.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)345-351
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Emergency Medicine
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1985


  • bacteremia
  • febrile infants
  • fever
  • sepsis
  • standard of practice
  • young infants

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Emergency Medicine


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