Febrile neutropenia occurs when a patient has a fever and a significant reduction in a type of white blood cells, known as neutrophils, which are needed to fight infections. Many patients, when undergoing cancer treatment, will experience a reduction in their white blood cells, which may be temporary or may persist for some time. Patients with febrile neutropenia require the timely assessment and treatment of their condition, to identify the possible sources of infection and to cure the infection.
The diagnosis of febrile neutropenia is confirmed by assessing the patient's temperature and white blood cell count through blood tests. Once the diagnosis of febrile neutropenia is confirmed, then further investigations such as cultures are done to determine the presence of infection and its possible sources. Based on the patient's clinical status, the physician will determine if the patient should be admitted to a health care facility for observation and treatment or if the patient can be treated at home. The treatment of febrile neutropenia consists of antimicrobial agents, with the goal of curing any possible sources of infection.