Neonatal Fever (0 - 28 days)

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Neonatal Fever (0 - 28 days)

All urine specimens should be collected by straight catheterization or suprapubic aspiration. Please document method of collection.

Inclusion Criteria
  • Fever > 38.0 C (100.4 F) at home or by provider
Exclusion Criteria
  • Toxic or moderately ill

Antimicrobial Dosing

ampicillin IV

100 mg/kg/DOSE every 8 hours

cefTRIAXone IV

100 mg/kg/DOSE every 24 hours

cefotaxime IV (alternative to ceftriaxone)

50 mg/kg/DOSE every 8 hours

acyclovir IV

20 mg/kg/DOSE every 8 hours


Start Empiric IV Antimicrobials:

  • Ampicillin
  • Cefotaxime or Ceftriaxone, and
  • Acyclovir

If you have questions about any of the clinical pathways or about the process of creating a clinical pathway please contact the Clincal Pathway Oversight Committee at

Disclaimer: Clinical pathways are intended as a resource to guide diagnosis, treatment and management in order to improve quality of care and promote better patient outcomes. They are based on available medical evidence at the time of development; the date on the pathway indicates the most recent update. Pathways are not intended to provide medical advice or consultation regarding the care of any individual patient, and should not replace or supersede a practitioner’s professional opinion or clinical judgment. Because medical knowledge is constantly evolving, and accepting the possibility of error, The Children’s Hospital at Montefiore does not warrant or represent that pathways are complete or accurate. Neither the Hospital nor the individuals involved in the development or publication of the pathways is responsible for results or outcomes related to their use.


  • Blood: CBC w/diff, BCx, LFTs, glucose, CRP, HSV serum PCR (may send from floor)
  • Urine: UA w/micro, Ucx
  • CSF:
  • culture and Gram stain,
  • protein and glucose,
  • cell count,
  • HSV PCR (CSF), enterovirus PCR in season (June-October)
  • RSV/flu if respiratory symptoms present
  • CXR only if respiratory symptoms present
  • Stool studies if diarrhea present
  • HSV DFA or PCR if skin lesions present

Well appearing?


  • Full sepsis work-up
  • Start empiric anti-microbials
  • Hospitalize
  • If LP is deferred due to clinical instability, begin empiric antimicrobials and perform LP as soon as patient is stabilized

Corresponding EPIC Order Set:

  • IP Peds Fever in Baby <29 Days Old

Consider discharge to home and further outpatient management after 36 hours if:

  • Bacterial cultures are negative
  • CSF HSV PCR is negative
  • Good follow-up for serum HSV PCR (if pending) is assured

Criteria for Outpatient Management: (all must apply)

  • Physician identified to assume outpatient follow-up at 24 hours
  • Caregiver with good observation skills
  • Telephone in home or a cell phone
  • Access to PMD or ED within 30 minutes

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