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Fever in the Neurosurgical Patient 

Fever in the Neurosurgical Patient
Chapter:
Fever in the Neurosurgical Patient
Author(s):

Rakhshanda Akram

, Crystal Benjamin

, Linda Mwamuka

, and Katherine A. Belden

DOI:
10.1093/med/9780190913779.003.0008
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date: 08 April 2020

Postoperative fever falls under the category of nosocomial fever, not incubating at the time of surgery. Early postoperative fever is more likely to be a part of the cytokine-mediated physiologic response to surgery and does not always need an infectious workup. Other important noninfectious causes of postoperative fever in neurosurgical patients include dysautonomia and central fever, which are often diagnoses of exclusion after infectious etiologies have been ruled out. Infections in neurosurgical patients can be secondary to the surgical procedure, such as postoperative meningitis, cerebrospinal fluid shunt and drain infections, cranial or spinal epidural abscess, and osteomyelitis and surgical site infections. Other hospital-associated infections, such as nosocomial pneumonia, sinusitis, diarrhea, urinary tract infections, bloodstream infections, and acalculous cholecystitis, are other important causes to be considered as part of the infectious workup. Hyperthermia-induced brain injury is a significant concern in neurosurgical patient population. Therefore, careful management of fever in this patient population is imperative to improve patient outcomes and decrease the cost of medical care.

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