The Christie Hotline
The hotline service is a 24 hour telephone
helpline service available to patients and carers for
advice/management on the side effects and complications of cancer
Please note recently discharged surgical patients should ring
ward 10 directly for advice / assistance.
All patients undergoing chemotherapy are given the Hotline number
which is printed on the reverse of all chemotherapy regimen
leaflets and hotline cards. The importance of using the hotline
number is reiterated on each visit.
Getting a fever or developing an infection?
Chemotherapy temporarily reduces your ability to fight
infection. Infections develop rapidly. If you think you have an
infection you will need prompt treatment in hospital. You will not
get better on your own. Early infections can be treated easily.
Delay could be dangerous.
These are the signs that you may be starting an infection:
- Feeling feverish
- Feeling shivery
- Hot and cold sweats
- Sore throat
- A burning feeling when you pass urine
- Cough, sputum or feeling breathless
- Redness or swelling, especially around a wound, sore or
- If your temperature is above 37.5ºC
- If your temperature is below 36ºC and you feel unwell
If you feel unwell, do not delay, call The Christie hotline
immediately on 0161 446 3658.
Urgent advice for doctors
The treatment is potentially myelosuppressive. Take all
infective episodes seriously. Treat promptly with antibiotics.
- Take a full blood count immediately.
- Ring The Christie on 0161 446 3658 for advice. The oncall
doctor can tell you whether the patient should be admitted locally
or managed at The Christie.
If a patient is unwell and/or pyrexial with a temp of >37.5ºC
for > 1 hour or has temp of >38.5ºC for any length of time
If blood results are not available in one hour administer
antibiotics (NB 'door-to-needle time one hour').
For all patients give:
- Piperacillin/Tazobactam (Tazocin) 4.5g TDS (3 times daily)
- Gentamicin 5mg per kilogram OD (once daily) maximum dose
Initial treatment with these antibiotics should be adequate for
most patients. If penicillin allergic (non anaphylaxis) or renal
failure given Meropenem 1g TDS.
Please note, many chemotherapy regimens contain platinum agents, if
received in the last 7 days, avoid aminoglycosides and give
Meropenem 1g TDS instead.
If pyrexia lasts for more than 24-36 hours despite these measures
then you need to change the antibiotics. Contact The Christie
oncologist, haematologist or microbiologist for advice on 0161 446
3000 or 0161 446 3658.
For further advice contact your Microbiology