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Introduction: Although the prevalence of bacteremia has largely declined with the development of the Haemophilus Influenza Type b (Hib) and pneumococcal vaccines, it continues to be a leading cause of morbidity and mortality in children. Thus, it is crucial to differentiate bacteremia from other illnesses via the clinical picture and laboratory test results. Objective: The purpose of this research was to determine whether there is a clinically significant difference between temperature and white blood cell (WBC) count as determinants of bacteremia in the pediatric population. Methods: A PubMed search was conducted utilizing the following terms and filters: temperature, WBC, pediatrics, bacteremia, humans and English. The search resulted in two articles that met the parameters of the research. Conclusion: The data showed WBC count to be a better predictor of bacteremia as compared to temperature, but ultimately neither is exceptional. Blood cultures (BC) remain the gold standard for bacteremia identification, but the delayed results prevent an expeditious diagnosis. Recognizing a relationship between bacteremia and other laboratory tests, such as procalcitonin, may help develop more effective ways at early disease detection.
Ashby AT, Moscinski LA. White blood cell count versus temperature as predictors of pediatric bacteremia. JMU Scholarly Commons Physician Assistant Capstones. http://commons.lib.jmu.edu/pacapstones/5/. Published August 1, 2016.