Fever, Sweats, and Hot Flashes (PDQ®): Supportive care - Health Professional Information [NCI] - Fever
Blood product–associated fever
Suspected febrile reactions can be minimized by the use of leukocyte-depleted or irradiated blood products, when clinically appropriate. Common clinical practice includes premedication with acetaminophen and diphenhydramine.
Nonspecific Interventions for Palliation of Fever
Along with treatment of the underlying cause, comfort measures are helpful in alleviating the distress that accompanies fever, chills, and sweats. During febrile episodes, increasing a patient's fluid intake, removing excess clothing and linens, and tepid water bathing/sponging may provide relief. Results of a pediatric randomized placebo-controlled trial of sponging with ice water, isopropyl alcohol, or tepid water, with or without acetaminophen, demonstrated that all combinations enhanced fever control. Comfort was greatest in children receiving a placebo or sponging, followed by those who received acetaminophen combined with tepid-water sponging. Sponging with either ice water or isopropyl alcohol, with or without acetaminophen, resulted in the greatest discomfort. During periods of chills, replacing wet blankets with warm, dry blankets, keeping patients out of drafts, and adjusting ambient room temperature may also improve patient comfort.
Symptomatic relief of persistent or intermittent fevers can be aided by the use of NSAIDs (e.g., naproxen) or acetaminophen. Aspirin may also be effective in reducing fever but should be used with caution in patients with Hodgkin lymphoma and cancer patients at risk for thrombocytopenia. Because of the associated risk of Reye syndrome, aspirin is not recommended in patients with fever.
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