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Emergency Medical Minute


Jul 25, 2022

Contributor: Aaron Lessen, MD

Educational Pearls:

  • A recent study evaluated the association between the degree of fever and mortality rate in patients presenting to a set of Emergency Departments in Israel
  • Febrile patients with a temperature > 38.0 C were recorded and these patients were compared against local death records to determine the all-cause 30-day mortality rate
  • 8.1% of patients evaluated in the ED were determined to be febrile
  • 30-day mortality for all febrile patients was around 12% 
  • Patients with fever >40 C have a mortality rate approaching 24%
  • Patients febrile to >40 C had increased mortality, ICU admissions, and AKIs compared to those with lesser degrees of fever
  • Those with a body temperature of between 39.2-39.5 C had the lowest mortality rates which may indicate the protective role of fever and warrants further research


Marcusohn E, Gibory I, Miller A, Lipsky AM, Neuberger A, Epstein D. The association between the degree of fever as measured in the emergency department and clinical outcomes of hospitalized adult patients. Am J Emerg Med. 2022;52:92-98.


Summarized by Mark O’Brien, MS4 | Edited by John Spartz, MD & Erik Verzemnieks, MD


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