Treatment of neutropenic sepsis when source unknown

One of the commonest haemato-oncological emergencies.

• May be defined as the presence of symptoms or signs of infection in a patient with an absolute neutrophil count of <1.0 x 109/L. In practice, the neutrophil count is often <0.1 x 109/L.

• Similar clinical picture also seen in neutrophil function disorders such as MDS despite normal neutrophil numbers.

• Beware —can occur without pyrexia, especially patients on steroids.

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