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Fever management practices: what paediatric nurses say

Edwards, Helen E., Courtney, Mary D., Wilson, Jennifer E., Monaghan, Sarah J., & Walsh, Anne M. (2001) Fever management practices: what paediatric nurses say. Nursing and Health Sciences, 3(3), pp. 119-130.

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Abstract

Paediatric nurses manage fevers in hospitalised children daily, a complex practice. This study identified varied decision making criteria and inconsistent practice influenced by many external variables. Nurses perform a comprehensive assessment to make an informed decision. However, factors influencing their practice include medical orders, the child’s temperament, a history of febrile convulsions, parental requests, colleagues and ward norms. Nurses have a ‘temperature’ at which they consider a child febrile (37.0C to 39.0C) and many reported a ‘temperature’ at which they administered antipyretics (37.5C to 39.0C). Antipyretics were administered to febrile children for pain relief, irritability, at parents’ request and to settle a child for the night. Administration was reported to be higher during the day and evening shifts, at medication rounds and when the ward is busy. At night, nurses are reluctant to waken a sleeping febrile child, preferring to observe them. Recommendations to promote consistent fever management practices are included.

Impact and interest:

18 citations in Scopus
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ID Code: 502
Item Type: Journal Article
Keywords: fever management, children, pediatric nurses, nurse, child, antipyretic, febrile convulsion
DOI: 10.1046/j.1442-2018.2001.00083.x
ISSN: 1442-2018
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES (110000) > NURSING (111000)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Current > Institutes > Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2001 Blackwell Publishing
Copyright Statement: The definitive version is available at www.blackwell-synergy.com
Deposited On: 29 Oct 2004
Last Modified: 02 Feb 2012 19:44

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