Oncology patients are a diagnostic challenge to the emergency physician due to their immunocompromised state and atypical clinical presentations. Malignancy and therapies increase their risk for infection but can also lead to the lack of usual infectious signs and symptoms. Despite being on prophylactic therapies to mitigate these risks, patients who present to the emergency department with fever should be worked up for infection. Febrile neutropenia is an oncological emergency. Thorough assessment and early empiric antibiotic therapy are crucial in timely recognition of suspected infection and stabilization of these patients, while extensive diagnostic testing, broad differentials, and syndromic approaches can help emergency physicians maximize the chances of establishing a clinical and microbiological diagnosis.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationOncologic Emergency Medicine
Subtitle of host publicationPrinciples and Practice: Second Edition
PublisherSpringer International Publishing
Number of pages12
ISBN (Electronic)9783030671235
ISBN (Print)9783030671228
StatePublished - Apr 22 2021


  • Cancer
  • Emergency physician
  • Febrile neutropenia
  • Fever
  • Hematopoietic stem cell transplant
  • Infection prophylaxis
  • Infections
  • Oncologic emergency


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