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Fever In Adults, Ambulatory Care

A fever

is an increase in body temperature above 100.4°F (38°C). Fever may be caused by infection, inflammatory disorders, or the cause may not be known.

Other signs and symptoms may include any of the following:

  • Chills and shivers
  • Muscle stiffness
  • Weight loss
  • Night sweats
  • Fever that comes and goes
  • Fever that is higher in the morning

Seek immediate care for the following symptoms:

  • Shortness of breath or chest pain
  • Blue skin, lips, or nails
  • Stiff neck and a bad headache
  • Fever does not go away or gets worse even after treatment
  • Confusion
  • Urinate only very small amounts or not at all
  • Heart beats faster than normal even after treatment

Treatment for a fever

may include medicine to decrease your fever. You may also need medicine to treat an infection caused by bacteria. Ask your healthcare provider for more information about the medicines you are given and how to use them safely.

Manage your fever:

  • Take a bath in cool or lukewarm water.
  • Use an ice pack wrapped in a small towel or wet a washcloth with cool water. Place the ice pack or wet washcloth on your forehead or the back of your neck.
  • Drink liquids as directed. Ask how much liquid to drink each day and which liquids are best for you. Liquids will help prevent dehydration.

Follow up with your healthcare provider as directed:

Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.

Care Agreement

You have the right to help plan your care. Learn about your health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your caregivers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment. The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

© 2016 Truven Health Analytics Inc. Information is for End User's use only and may not be sold, redistributed or otherwise used for commercial purposes. All illustrations and images included in CareNotes® are the copyrighted property of A.D.A.M., Inc. or Truven Health Analytics.

The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

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