II. Precautions

  1. Labs do not triage initial management of infants under 1 month or ill appearing children under 36 months
    1. All labs are performed in Fever Without Focus if under 1 month or ill appearing and under 36 months
    2. All infants with these risks are admitted and started on empiric antibiotics
    3. Leukocytosis has poor Test Sensitivity of serious Bacterial Infection <60 days
      1. Cruz (2017) JAMA Pediatr 171(11):172927 [PubMed]
  2. Blood Cultures
    1. Obtain in all febrile newborns age <30 days
    2. Avoid Blood Cultures in non-toxic febrile children without localizing symptoms >3 months of age
      1. Blood Cultures are more likely to be contaminated than true infection (RR 100x)

III. Labs: Urinalysis and Urine Culture

  1. Indications
    1. Perform in all Fever Without Focus children age <24 months
      1. UTI is among the top two causes of serious Bacterial Infection under 36 months
        1. Rudinsky (2009) Acad Emerg Med 16(7): 585-90 [PubMed]
      2. Serious Urinary Tract Infections (Pyelonephritis, urosepsis) are increasing in Incidence
        1. Copp (2011) J Urol 186(3): 1028-34 [PubMed]
    2. Age <5 years AND 3 of the following criteria
      1. Pain or crying with urination
      2. Foul smelling urine
      3. Prior Urinary Tract Infection
      4. Severe Illness signs
      5. Absence of severe cough
      6. Ebell (2018) Am Fam Physician 97(4): 273-4 [PubMed]
  2. Clean catch, catheterized urine or suprapubic aspirate for all samples
    1. Bag urine has 85% False Positive Rate
    2. Bag urine may be used as reassuring if negative, but positive (LE, nitrite, pyuria) requires confirmation
    3. Fineell (2011) Pediatrics 128(3):e749-70 [PubMed]
  3. Urine Culture all samples
    1. Urine dipstick False Negative Rate: 12%
    2. Gorelick (1999) Pediatrics 104(5): e54 [PubMed]
  4. Findings suggestive of Urinary Tract Infection
    1. Pyruia (>5 WBCs per HPF or >10 WBCs on enhanced Urinalysis)
    2. Urine Culture >50,000 CFU on urine catheterization or suprapubic sample
  5. Febrile UTI follow-up
    1. Age <2 years requires renal and Bladder Ultrasound (and if abnormal, VCUG)

IV. Labs: Age under 29 days

V. Labs: Age 1 to 36 months AND signs of serious illness

  1. Complete Blood Count (CBC) with differential
  2. Blood Culture
  3. Urinalysis and Urine Culture
    1. Age less than 24 months: Obtain both Urinalysis and Urine Culture
    2. Age 24 to 36 months: Consider Urinalysis and Urine Culture if urinary tract source is suspected
  4. Lumbar Puncture for CSF Studies and culture
    1. Age 1 to 3 months: All ill appearing infants
    2. Age 3-36 months: Neurologic or meningeal signs present
  5. Chest XRay Indications
    1. Respiratory symptoms
    2. Rectal Temperature > 102º F
    3. WBC >20,000
  6. Stool Culture and Fecal Leukocytes Indications
    1. Diarrheal illness

VI. Labs: Age 1 to 36 months without signs of serious illness

  1. Consider Influenza test during Influenza season in ages 3 to 36 months
    1. Positive Influenza test often obviates need for further Fever Without Focus evaluation
  2. Complete Blood Count (CBC) with differential
  3. Blood Culture (draw and hold) when other labs obtained
  4. Urinalysis and Urine Culture
    1. Age less than 24 months: Obtain both Urinalysis and Urine Culture
    2. Age 24 to 36 months: Consider Urinalysis and Urine Culture if urinary tract source is suspected
  5. Lumbar Puncture for CSF Studies and culture
    1. Age <1 month: All febrile infants
    2. Age 1 to 3 months Indications
      1. All ill, toxic appearing infants
      2. Absolute Neutrophil Count >10,000/mm3
      3. CRP >20 ng/ml or Procalcitonin >0.5 ng/ml
      4. Mintegi (2017) Arch Dis Child 102(3): 244-9 [PubMed]
    3. Age 3-36 months Indications
      1. Altered Level of Consciousness or Neurologic signs
      2. Meningeal signs present
    4. Precaution
      1. Younger infants are less likely to demonstrate meningeal signs (Exercise caution)
      2. Normal WBC Count (between 5000 to 15000) does not rule-out Meningitis
        1. Bonsu (2003) Ann Emerg Med 41:206-14 [PubMed]
    5. Interpretation: Findings Suggestive of Bacterial Meningitis in Age <3 months
      1. CSF WBC >20/mm3
      2. CSF Protein >100 mg/dl
      3. CSF Glucose <20 ng/dl
      4. Leazer (2017) Pediatrics 139(5):e20163268 [PubMed]
  6. Chest XRay Indications
    1. May avoid Chest XRay in Wheezing consistent with Asthma or Bronchiolitis
    2. Respiratory symptoms (respiratory distress, Tachypnea, pulmonary rales)
    3. Rectal Temperature > 102.2º F
    4. White Blood Cell Count >20,000
    5. Oxygen Saturation <95% (Hypoxia)
  7. Stool Culture and Fecal Leukocytes Indications
    1. Diarrheal illness

VII. Labs: Experimental markers (age under 3 months)

  1. Inflammatory markers with greater Positive Predictive Value of serious infection than White Blood Cell Count
    1. C-Reactive Protein (CRP)
      1. CRP <10 mg/L has a Negative Predictive Value for Sepsis of 99%
      2. CRP >40 mg/L is more suggestive of serious Bacterial illness (but not sensitive or specific)
      3. Single CRP is inadequate for reassurance (repeat in 24 hours)
      4. NSAIDs modify CRP significantly (Ibuprofen increases, Naproxen decreases)
      5. Bilavsky (2009) Acta Paediatr 98(11): 1776-80 +PMID:19664100 [PubMed]
      6. McWilliam (2010) Arch Dis Child Educ Pract Ed 95(2): 55-8 +PMID:20351152 [PubMed]
    2. Procalcitonin (PCT)
      1. Procalcitonin rapidly increases above normal threshold with fever onset in serious Bacterial Infection
      2. PCT <0.5 ng/ml has a Negative Predictive Value for serious Bacterial Infection of 90%
      3. PCT >0.6 (and WBC >19k, blasts >1.8k, Neutrophils >13k) suggests serious Bacterial Infection
      4. Olaciregui (2009) Arch Dis Child 94(7): 501-5 +PMID:19158133 [PubMed]
      5. Mahajan (2014) Acad Emerg Med 21(2): 171-9 +PMID:24673673 [PubMed]
    3. Laboratory Score combines CRP, Procalcitonin and Urine Dipstick
      1. See Laboratory Score for Febrile Infants
      2. Score >3 points suggests higher risk for serious Bacterial Infection
    4. References
      1. Freyne (2013) Clin Pediatr 52(6): 503-6 +PMID:23613177 [PubMed]
      2. Stein (2015) Clin Pediatr 54(5): 439-44 +PMID:25294884 [PubMed]
  2. Rapid urine pneumococcal antigen assay
    1. Currently being researched for clinical application
    2. Test Sensitivity in pneumococcal bacteremia: 96%
    3. High False Positive Rate
    4. Neuman (2003) Pediatrics 112:1279-82 [PubMed]

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