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.

Some signs that you may be starting an infection:

  • temperature is 37.5ºC or above
  • feeling unwell and temperature is below 36ºC
  • shivery or hot and cold sweats
  • a burning feeling when you pass urine
  • cough, sputum
  • feeling breathless or rapid breathing
  • confusion or disorientation
  • redness or swelling (especially around lines or drains)
  • sore throat
  • diarrhoea

Remember to report any new or worsening conditions. If you are experiencing chest pain, difficulty in breathing or severe bleeding, please call 999 immediately.

If you feel unwell, do not delay - call The Christie Hotline immediately on 0161 446 3658.


Urgent advice for clinicians

Systemic anti-cancer treatment is potentially myelosuppressive.

Initial antibiotic guidance

  • If the patient is unwell and/or pyrexial with a temp of 38°c or above, give IV antibiotic cover.
  • Do not wait for blood results.
  • Adhere to 1 hour antibiotic target from initial recognition. 

For all patients, give antibiotics as per local policy/guidelines. 

You can also access Trust guidance via MicroGuide. This app can be downloaded onto any mobile device via the Apple App store or Android Google Play store.