Febrile Neutropenia: Decreasing Time to Antibiotic Administration in a Community Hospital Emergency Department

Susan D. Bruce, MSN, RN, OCN®, AOCNS®


Febrile neutropenia, a serious complication of cytotoxic chemotherapy, is an oncologic emergency associated with high rates of morbidity and mortality. Fever is often the only clinical sign of an underlying infection in neutropenic patients with cancer. Prompt treatment with empiric broad-spectrum antibiotics is crucial to ensuring best outcomes for patients; practice guidelines recommend antibiotic administration within one hour of fever onset. A quality improvement initiative to improve time to antibiotic administration among patients with febrile neutropenia presenting to a community hospital emergency department is described in this article.

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