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BACKGROUND: Fever is common in patients with acute brain injury and worsens secondary brain injury and clinical outcomes. Currently, there is a lack of consensus on the definition of fever and its management. The aims of the survey were to explore: (a) fever definitions, (b) thresholds to trigger temperature management, and (c) therapeutic strategies to control fever. MATERIALS AND METHODS: A questionnaire (26 items) was made available to members of the European Society of Intensive Care Medicine via its website between July 2016 and December 2016. RESULTS: Among 231 respondents, 193 provided complete responses to the questionnaire (84%); mostly intensivists (n=124, [54%]). Body temperature was most frequently measured using a bladder probe (n=93, [43%]). A large proportion of respondents considered fever as a body temperature >38.3°C (n=71, [33%]). The main thresholds for antipyretic therapy were 37.5°C (n=74, [34%]) and 38.0°C (n=86, [40%]); however, lower thresholds (37.0 to 37.5°C) were targeted in cases of intracranial hypertension and cerebral ischemia. Among first-line methods to treat fever, ice packs were the most frequently utilized physical method (n=90, [47%]), external nonautomated system was the most frequent utilized device (n=49, [25%]), and paracetamol was the most frequently utilized drug (n=135, [70%]). Among second-line methods, intravenous infusion of cold fluids was the most frequently utilized physical method (n=68, [35%]), external computerized automated system was the most frequently utilized device (n=75, [39%]), and diclofenac was the most frequently utilized drug (n=62, [32%]). Protocols for fever control and shivering management were available to 83 (43%) and 54 (28%) of respondents, respectively. CONCLUSIONS: In this survey we identified substantial variability in fever definition and application of temperature management in acute brain injury patients. These findings may be helpful in promoting educational interventions and in designing future studies on this topic.

Original publication




Journal article


J Neurosurg Anesthesiol

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