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date: 20 June 2021

Historical perspective 208

Epidemiology 210

Pathogenesis and risk factors 212

Prevention of infection 214

Febrile neutropenia 216

System specific infections 220

The high mortality rate in febrile neutropenia became apparent following the pioneering early experience with chemotherapy in the treatment of childhood malignancies [e.g. acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (ALL), Wilms’ tumour) in the late 1950s and 1960s. Subsequently, during the 1970s this mortality was reduced by the early use of empirical antibiotic treatment in any febrile neutropenic child, even in the absence of any additional clinical (e.g. signs of systemic sepsis or focal infection) or microbiological evidence of infection. Numerous different empirical protocols have been developed, usually guided by a knowledge of local bacterial and antibiotic resistance patterns....

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