Is 15 Days an Appropriate Cut-off Age for Considering Serious Bacterial Infection in the Management of Febrile Infants

The Pediatric Infectious Disease Journal, 05/04/2012

Garcia S et al. – Febrile infants 15 to 21 days of age had a rate of serious bacterial infection (SBI) similar to younger infants and higher than older age infants. It is not appropriate to establish the approach to management of infants with fever based on a cut–off age of 2 weeks.


  • Cross-sectional descriptive study of infants <3 months of age with fever without a source seen between September 1, 2003 and August 30, 2010 in the pediatric emergency department of a tertiary teaching hospital.
  • All infants <3 months of age with fever without a source were included.
  • The following data were collected: age, sex, temperature, diagnosis, management in pediatric emergency department, and outcome.


  • Data were collected for 1575 infants; of whom, 311 (19.7%, 95% confidence intervals [CI]: 17.7–21.7) were found to have an SBI.
  • The rate of SBI in the patients who were 15 to 21 days of age was 33.3% (95% CI: 23.7%–42.9%), similar to that among infants who were 7 to 14 days of age (31.9%, 95% CI: 21.1%–42.7%) and higher than among those older than 21 days of age (18.3%, 95% CI: 16.3–20.3%).

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