This guideline covers preventing, identifying and managing neutropenic sepsis in children, young people and adults receiving treatment for cancer in the community and in secondary and tertiary care. It aims to reduce the risk of infection in people with neutropenia (low number of white blood cells) who are receiving anticancer treatment and improve management of neutropenic sepsis.
This guideline includes recommendations on:
- information and support for patients and carers
- reducing the risk of neutropenic sepsis
- referring patients in the community with suspected neutropenic sepsis
- managing suspected neutropenic sepsis in secondary and tertiary care
- managing confirmed neutropenic sepsis
Who is it for?
- Healthcare professionals
- People receiving treatment for cancer and their families and carers
Is this guideline up to date?
We reviewed the evidence in February 2014. We identified no major studies that will affect the recommendations in the next 3–5 years.
Next review: 2019
Guideline development process
This guideline was previously called neutropenic sepsis: prevention and management of neutropenic sepsis in cancer patients.
The recommendations in this guideline represent the view of NICE, arrived at after careful consideration of the evidence available. When exercising their judgement, professionals are expected to take this guideline fully into account, alongside the individual needs, preferences and values of their patients or service users. The application of the recommendations in this guideline is not mandatory and the guideline does not override the responsibility of healthcare professionals to make decisions appropriate to the circumstances of the individual patient, in consultation with the patient and/or their carer or guardian.
Local commissioners and/or providers have a responsibility to enable the guideline to be applied when individual health professionals and their patients or service users wish to use it. They should do so in the context of local and national priorities for funding and developing services, and in light of their duties to have due regard to the need to eliminate unlawful discrimination, to advance equality of opportunity and to reduce health inequalities. Nothing in this guideline should be interpreted in a way that would be inconsistent with compliance with those duties.
Commissioners and providers have a responsibility to promote an environmentally sustainable health and care system and should assess and reduce the environmental impact of implementing NICE recommendations wherever possible.