Clinical evaluation

Vital clues to the source of infection may be obtained from a carefully taken history and a detailed physical examination. However, it must be appreciated that severely neutropenic patients are unable to mount a normal inflammatory response; thus the normal signs and symptoms of infection may be absent or muted. In addition, the clinical state of neutropenic patients can deteriorate rapidly with resultant septic shock, DIC, or acute respiratory distress syndrome. Therefore it is imperative that all severely neutropenic patients are closely monitored and treatment commenced as soon as infection is suspected.

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