A fever is an elevated body temperature that is part of the body’s response to something else, like an infection. As one of the most common reasons people go to the emergency room (ER), fevers are in the spotlight today and the physicians at Medco ER have some tips to help you know when to go to the ER for a fever.
While each body is different and can vary slightly in normal range of temperature, the average body temperature has been designated as 98.6˚ F (37˚ C). If taken by mouth, a temperature of 100˚ F (37.8˚ C) or higher is considered a fever.1
A fever can be caused by any of a number of conditions. Most often, it is caused by an infection. Less often, a condition such as an autoimmune disorder or cancer can cause a low-grade fever. It can also be caused by medications or some vaccinations.2
“A fever can be the first indicator that something is wrong,” said Medco ER’s Medical Director, Dr. Nasir Khan. “If you have strep, a urinary tract infection, the flu, or a sinus infection, your body’s immune system will be in high gear which is manifested as a fever.”
A fever can be accompanied by a variety of other symptoms including:
- Nausea and vomiting
- Difficulty or pain when urinating
- Stiff neck
- Swollen glands
- Muscle aches
- Loss of appetite
“If any of these accompanying symptoms seem unusual, alarming or persistent, come to Medco ER right away,” said Dr. Khan.
How to Take Your Temperature
There are a variety of thermometers available today including ones for oral, rectal, forehead and ear. The most accurate place to get a temperature reading is the rectum and the least accurate place is the armpit.2
Most physicians recommend using a digital thermometer for an oral temperature reading. Write down the temperature, the device used and the location on the body to tell your physician.
Go to the ER
Fevers are especially concerning in infants and toddlers. Come to the ER if your infant has a temperature higher than 100˚ F. If your baby is 3 to 24 months old and has a temperature of 102˚ F or higher, come to the ER. If your baby has a fever and is sluggish, irritable, uncomfortable and listless, come to Medco ER for an evaluation.
If your baby or child has a runny nose, cough, diarrhea or vomiting along with a fever, seek help from a physician. If the fever has lasted more than 3 days, it’s time to seek medical help.
Warning signs include: listlessness, confusion, unable to awaken, loss of consciousness, change in speech, difficulty breathing, seizure, abdominal pain, painful urination, headache, stiff neck, rash, dehydration, or repeated vomiting.
“You know your child,” said Dr. Khan. “If he or she is especially uncomfortable with a fever, you know something is going on. Don’t hesitate to bring her to Medco ER for an evaluation.”
Medco ER is Open 24/7
Fevers don’t follow a schedule and neither does Medco ER. We are open all day and night—every day of the year—to make sure you have fast access to some of the best medical care in the area. Our rapid results labs can detect many infections and help target treatments to get you or your child on the road to recovery.
Plano: 3960 Legacy Drive, Plano, TX 75023 (on the corner of Legacy and Coit Road)
Call us @ 469-747-0370
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