Clinical Reference Systems: Pediatric Advisor 10.0
Admission and Discharge Instructions
When bacteria are growing in your child's bloodstream the
condition is called bacteremia. Bacteremia causes a fever
but no other specific symptoms. This illness usually occurs
in children less than 3 years old. It is most common in
Diagnosis and the Blood Culture
The diagnosis of bacteremia is made from a blood test. This
test requires 24 to 48 hours for results. For this reason,
your child will be given a diagnosis of "rule-out" or
"suspected" bacteremia at first. A more specific diagnosis
cannot be made until the test results are back.
Reasons for Admission to the Hospital
Your child's diagnosis is
Main complication: _______________________________________________.
__ Needs IV fluids.
__ Needs IV antibiotic or other medication.
__ Needs oxygen.
__ Other reasons:_______________________________________________.
Your child should improve (have less fever and be more
active) within 24 to 48 hours. Children who continue to be
seriously ill will need to stay in the hospital for close
observation and treatment.
Requirements for Discharge
Discharge Instructions for Home Care
Bacterial infections can be treated effectively with
antibiotics. All children suspected of having
bacteremia are treated with antibiotics.
Your child will receive a shot or intravenous (IV) dose
of an antibiotic called ceftriaxone.
Your child also needs the following oral antibiotic:
__________________________. Give ________ every ____
hours for ____ days.
Fever increases your child's fluid needs. Encourage
your child to drink lots of fluids, even though he or
she may not want to drink because of feeling ill.
- Fever Medicines
For fever over 102ƒF (39ƒC), give acetaminophen every 4
hours or ibuprofen every 6 to 8 hours.
- Other Medicines
- Additional Instructions
Follow-Up Appointment after Discharge
Children who go home with a diagnosis of "rule-out" or
"suspected" bacteremia require a follow-up appointment with
a physician within 24 hours. Your child must be seen again
for another exam, to have the blood test results checked,
and possibly to receive further antibiotic treatment.
___ Your child needs to be rechecked and has an appointment
on _____________ at _______ with
___ Your child needs to be rechecked in ________ days. Call
your child's doctor to make an appointment.
Call Your Child's Physician IMMEDIATELY If:
- Your child starts to act very sick or is difficult to
- Your child develops a stiff neck or swollen joints (these
are serious complications of bacteremia).
- Your child's fever comes back.
- Your child vomits the antibiotic.
- Your child develops a rash or difficulty breathing.
Call Your Child's Physician During Office Hours If:
- You have other questions or concerns.