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Home antipyretic use in children brought to the emergency department

MCERLEAN, MARA A. MD; BARTFIELD, JOEL M. MD; KENNEDY, DOREEN A. MD; GILMAN, ELIZABETH A. MD; STRAM, RONALD L. MD; RACCIO-ROBAK, NANCY RN, MPH

ORIGINAL ARTICLES
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Objective To determine how often children with a complaint of fever receive antipyretics at home and if any demographic factors are associated with correct dosing.

Methods A prospective, descriptive study of children 3 to 36 months old presenting with complaint of fever was conducted. Caregivers were questioned about demographics and antipyretic given. The ability of demographics to predict proper dosing was tested first individually and then with a regression model. The effect of proper home dosing on presence of fever and height of fever was also analyzed. A total of 138 children were analyzed.

Results Of the 118 (86%) who received antipyretics at home, only 47% had been given a proper dose. No demographic variable predicted proper dosing.

Conclusion Reported antipyretic dose at home did not predict presence of fever or height of temperature measured in the emergency department.

From the Department of Emergency Medicine, Albany Medical Center, Albany, New York

Address for reprints: Mara A. McErlean, MD, Department of Emergency Medicine A-139, Albany Medical College, 43 New Scotland Avenue, Albany, NY 12208; e-mail: mcerlem@mail.amc.edu

© 2001 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.