Fever- Keep calm and …

Fever- act on the facts not the fallacies; learn how here
#fever#seizures

a man taking his temperature

I don’t know where the “keep calm” slogan originated, but it certainly applies in the case of fever.  Many people consider fever a bona fide emergency, especially in children.

But fever is just a symptom, usually due to a benign (minor) illness that is self-limited (will go away on its own). In less common circumstances, it is due to a serious or even life threatening disease.

a woman taking her temperature
This photograph depicted a woman who was using a modern, battery-powered oral thermometer, in order to measure her body temperature. In order to return an accurate reading, this particular type of thermometer needed to be placed beneath the user’s tongue, for a set amount of time, beeping when the ambient, sublingual temperature was reached. Photo credit-James Gathany, CDC, public domain

5 truths about fevers in children” explains that, and most of the content applies just as well to adults as children. One difference is that febrile seizures do not occur in adults.

A febrile seizure is one for which there is no other cause – the fever caused the seizure.

So if an older child, adolescent or adult with a fever has a seizure, that seizure must be due to something else; for example, meningitis, an infection of the brain lining, can cause fever and seizures; in that case the seizure is due to the infection, not the fever. In this case, the seizure is the emergency, not the fever.

other posts to help you identify serious illness

Have a sick child? Here’s when to call the doctor

Symptoms for which evaluation should not be delayed if severe, persistent or worsening include

  • Difficulty breathing
  • Fainting, passing out
  • Hives, swelling, rash (due to an allergic reaction) 
  • Lethargy or unexplained sleepiness
  • Severe pain
  • Vomiting and/or diarrhea if persistent or profuse 
  • Burns
  • Bleeding, uncontrolled 
  • Fever

Call 911, it’s an emergency! or is it?

An emergent medical condition is one that

  • Threatens life
  • Threatens one or more limbs
  • Threatens vision/hearing/speech/mental function/ function of any major internal organ or organ system
  • Has the potential, if not treated promptly, to cause death or long term and/or permanent harm.

exploring the HEART of health

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                              Dr. Aletha 

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Author: Aletha Cress Oglesby, M.D.

I am a family physician who loves to write about the HEART of HEALTH. On my blog, Watercress Words, I inform and inspire us in healthy living. My ideas come from my training, experiences, medical practice, personal life, and medicine in the media. There's always something new and interesting to explore in the world of health and medicine.

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