Chemotherapy Emergency Information

Advice for GPs & Emergency Department staff

Chemotherapy is likely to cause a low white count particularly neutropenia. If your patient consults you regarding any form of infection while they are receiving chemotherapy, we advise that we advise that they should be placed in an isolated area and an URGENT SAME DAY full blood count should be carried out and that the following guidelines should be considered:

  • If Neutrophils <1.0 x 109/l and the patient is febrile (>38C), admit to hospital for IV antibiotics.
  • If neutrophils >1.0 x 109/l and patient is febrile but well consider oral antibiotics after clinical assessment.
  • If neutrophils >1.0 x 109/l and the patient is febrile and clinically unwell please liaise with hospital doctor on ph. 4215 2700

Please do not hesitate to contact the Andrew Love Cancer Centre for advice. Phone the department during office hours (8am to 5pm) on (03) 4215 2700. After hours, please phone the University Hospital Geelong switchboard on (03) 4215 0000 and ask for the Medical Oncology Registrar.