Prospective audit of post-chemotherapy febrile neutropenia in patients with solid cancer and lymphoma in two Singaporean cancer centres

Department of Medical Oncology, National Cancer Centre Singapore.
Annals of the Academy of Medicine, Singapore (Impact Factor: 1.15). 07/2012; 41(7):287-93.
Source: PubMed


Febrile neutropenia (FN) is a significant cause of mortality and morbidity in oncology and haematology units worldwide. The overall mortality in hospital surveys in Singapore surveys on post-chemotherapy FN has ranged between 3.0% and 8.8%. However, recent evidence indicates that outpatient management of patients with low-risk FN is safe and cost-effective.
We conducted a prospective audit on a cohort of adult patients with post-chemotherapy FN seen at 2 local public sector cancer centres over a 1-year period in order to define their epidemiological characteristics and outcomes, and also to assess the uptake of early discharge/outpatient management strategies for these patients.
We reviewed 306 FN episodes from 248 patients. Patient characteristics and outcomes were similar between both institutions. Eleven (3.7%) FN episodes were managed as outpatient and none developed complications. Overall 30-day mortality was 6.6%, while the median length of stay (LOS) was 7 days (IQR: 4 to 11 days). The only independent risk factor for mortality was severe sepsis (OR:13.19; 95% CI: 1.98 to 87.7; P = 0.008). Factors independently associated with a longer LOS were vancomycin prescription (coefficient: 0.25; 95% CI: 0.08 to 0.41; P = 0.003), longer duration of intravenous antibiotics (coefficient: 0.08; 95% CI: 0.06 to 0.10; P <0.001), and prior review by an infectious diseases physician (coefficient: 0.16; 95% CI: 0.01 to 0.31; P = 0.034).
This audit demonstrated that mortality from FN in our 2 cancer centres is low and comparable to international institutions. It also demonstrates that outpatient management of FN is safe in selected patients, and can be further expanded for right-siting of resources.

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