Documentation of infection

Symptoms and physical signs are frequently supportive of a diagnosis of infection but rarely are pathognomonic. For example, the activation of the acute inflammatory response is the most common way in which the clinical manifestations of infection become apparent. However, noninfectious conditions may also activate the same inflammatory mechanisms; therefore, the symptoms and signs of inflammation are by no means specific for infection.

Management of selected clinical conditions

This section is devoted to topics that exemplify important considerations in treatment and prophylaxis with antibiotics. Overviews are provided by discussing selected clinical settings and the therapeutic issues they raise.

Management of the Febrile Neutropenic Patient

Consideration of treatment of the febrile neutropenic patient includes a brief summary of risk factors, organisms responsible for the disease, workup and management of a patient with respect to antimicrobial therapy, and immunoenhancement. Many clinical disease entities can cause a spectrum of immune suppression, and solid and hematologic tumors vary with respect to the degree of immune suppression they produce. Neutropenia is defined as an absolute neutrophil count that is less than 1000 cells/mm3. As the count falls below 1000 cells/mm3, the risk of infection increases.