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Febrile neutropenia (FN) is a life-threatening complication of cancer chemotherapy and is considered a medical emergency.  Patients with suspected febrile neutropenia should be assessed urgently and managed according to clincial presentation and risk assessment. Patients may not always present to the acute oncology team,and will access care via community or emergency teams ,so it is vital that all patient facing professionals are aware of the particular risks for this patients group, can commence urgent or emergency assessment and managment and can access expert advice and support easily.
National guidance has been issued by NICE and includes the following key recomendations:
  • hospitals should have a neutropenic sepsis policy, which includes management pathway 
  • patient information and emergency contact instructions
  • risk assessment and identification of high and low risk patients
  • training and education for HCP in the recognition and management of patients with suspected neutropenic sepsis

Are you a health professional looking for immediate guidance? 

UKONS Acute Oncology Initial Management may help

Helpful Links:
  • NICE - Neutropenic sepsis: prevention and management in people with cancer Clinical guideline [CG151] Published: 19 September 2012
  • MASCC - the Multinational Association of Supportive Care in Cancer risk index, a validated neutropenic risk scoring system. 
  • Management of Febrile Neutropaenia: ESMO Clinical Practice Guidelines
  • ASCO - Outpatient Management of Fever and Neutropenia in Adults Treated for Malignancy  February 20, 2018
  • Low Risk Febrile Neutropenia Pathway
  • This document is offered as a template for use by trusts/hospitals wishing to develop a pathway for the ambulatory management of patients with low risk febrile neutropenia.
  • Trusts/hospitals should review content and amend/adapt if required to suit local services prior to approval for local use.
  • The user organisation must accept governance responsibility for implementation of the pathway.


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