Your appointment may be with your family doctor, general practitioner or pediatrician. Here's some information to help you get ready for your appointment and know what to expect from the doctor.
What you can do
- Be aware of any pre-appointment restrictions. When you make the appointment, ask if there's anything you need to do in advance.
- Write down information about the fever, such as when it started, how and where you measured it (orally or rectally, for example) and any other symptoms. Note whether you or your child has been around anyone who's been ill.
- Write down key personal information, including possible exposure to anyone who's been ill or recent travel out of the country.
- Make a list of all medications, vitamins and supplements that you or your child is taking.
- Write down questions to ask the doctor.
For a fever, some basic questions to ask your doctor include:
- What's likely causing the fever?
- Could anything else be causing it?
- What kinds of tests are needed?
- What treatment approach do you recommend? Are there any alternatives?
- Is medicine necessary to lower the fever? What are the side effects of such medications?
- Are there any restrictions that I need to follow?
- Is there a generic alternative to the medicine you're prescribing?
- Do you have any printed materials that I can take with me? What websites do you recommend?
Don't hesitate to ask other questions during your appointment as they occur to you.
What to expect from your doctor
Be prepared to answer questions your doctor might ask you, such as:
May. 29, 2014
- When did the symptoms first occur?
- What method did you use to take your or your child's temperature?
- What was the temperature of the environment surrounding you or your child?
- Have you or your child taken any fever-lowering medication?
- What other symptoms are you or your child experiencing? How severe are they?
- Do you or your child have any chronic health conditions?
- What medications do you or your child regularly take?
- Have you or your child been around anyone who's ill?
- Have you or your child recently had surgery?
- Have you or your child recently traveled outside the country?
- What, if anything, seems to improve the symptoms?
- What, if anything, appears to worsen the symptoms?
- Longo DL, et al. Harrison's Online. 18th ed. New York, N.Y.: The McGraw-Hill Companies; 2012. http://www.accessmedicine.com/resourceTOC.aspx?resourceID=4. Accessed Feb. 4, 2014.
- What to do in a medical emergency: Fever. American College of Emergency Physicians. http://www.emergencycareforyou.org/EmergencyManual/WhatToDoInMedicalEmergency/Default.aspx?id=242. Accessed Feb. 17, 2014.
- Fever. The Merck Manuals: The Merck Manual for Health care Professionals. http://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/sec14/ch167/ch167e.html. Accessed Feb. 4, 2014.
- Fever and your child. American Academy of Pediatrics. http://patiented.aap.org/content.aspx?aid=5107. Accessed Feb. 17, 2014.
- Schmitt BD. Pediatric Telephone Protocols. 14th ed. Elk Grove Village, Ill.: American Academy of Pediatrics; 2013:120-124.
- Goldman L, et al. Goldman's Cecil Medicine. 24th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2012. http://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed Feb. 4, 2014.
- Wing R, et al. Fever in the pediatric patient. Emergency Medicine Clinics of North America. 2013;31:1073.
- Ward MA. Fever in infants and children: Pathophysiology and management. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Feb. 4, 2014.
- Febrile seizures fact sheet. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. http://www.ninds.nih.gov/disorders/febrile_seizures/detail_febrile_seizures.htm. Accessed Feb. 4, 2014.
- Laptook AR, et al. Admission temperature of low birth weight infants: Predictors and associated morbidities. Pediatrics. 2007;119:e643.
- Fever in adults. The Merck Manuals: Home Edition for Patients and Caregivers. http://www.merckmanuals.com/home/infections/biology_of_infectious_disease/fever_in_adults.html. Feb. 25, 2014.
- Hoecker JL (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. March 4, 2014.
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