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Using a patient specific protocol to improve the emergency management of suspected febrile neutropenia/neutropenic sepsis in patients on systemic anti-cancer chemotherapy

by Whittington Health

Neutropenic sepsis/febrile neutropenia (NS/FN) is a potentially fatal complication of chemotherapy National guidance recommends that the first dose of antibiotics should be given within 60 minutes once they present with NS/FN. To improve the ‘door to needle’ time, Whittington Health, in conjunction with London Ambulance, developed a patient specific protocol (PSP) to rapidly identify all at risk patients. 

Patients included on the PSP register who became unwell while receiving chemotherapy were instructed to ring 999. The PSP dictated an automatic blue light response from the ambulance service and a pre-approved treatment plan, including the patient going immediately to a resuscitation room.

Overall just 3.8 per cent of all patients treated with SACT used the protocol (9.5 oer cent of high risk patients), which reduced the added burden to the ambulance service but offered huge benefit to patients receiving high risk regimens.


Judges' comments

"An excellent example of collaboration and shows what we can do to really improve safety for cancer patients"
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