What is acute oncology?

You will have been issued with an ALERT CARD as you are at risk of neutropenic sepsis, which is a whole-body reaction triggered by an infection.  Neutropenic sepsis, which is also called febrile neutropenia, is a potentially fatal complication of anti-cancer treatment (particularly chemotherapy).

Signs and symptoms to consider:

  • You have received chemotherapy/radiotherapy in the last six weeks and/or have bone marrow disease.
  • A temperature greater than 37.5°C or less than 36.0°C
  • History of fever or hypothermia
  • Other sepsis signs, for example tachycardia, hypotension or severe fatigue
  • Rigors/shaking/chills
  • An indwelling vascular access device
  • Feeling unwell

Should you have any of the above signs and/or symptoms, you should contact the chemotherapy side effects advice line service immediately:

  • 07785 716793 – Monday to Friday, 9.00am to 5.45pm
  • Out-of-hours, weekends and bank holidays – please attend the emergency department and in the event you become critically unwell at any time of the day or night, please call an ambulance.

It is critical that where neutropenic sepsis is diagnosed, intravenous antibiotics are administered in a timely fashion.


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