* * Anonymous Doc: Fever

Monday, January 14, 2013


A patient calls the call center this weekend... I call back:

"Hi, this is [Anon Doc] returning your call."

"Yes, my wife isn't feeling well."

"I'm sorry to hear that.  What's going on?"

"She's been out of it since last night.  Very tired.  Not hungry."

"Any temperature?"

"Yeah.  A hundred and seven."

"Excuse me?"

"A hundred and seven, since last night."

"I'm sorry, is she in the room you're in right now?"


"And she's breathing okay?"

"Yes.  [I hear him say:] You're okay, honey, right?  [I hear her say something in response.]  Yeah, she said she's feeling a lot better than last night."

"I think you need to call an ambulance, and I think you should do that as soon as you get off the phone with me."

"You think it's that bad?"

"I don't know what's going on.  But her fever should not be 107.  Ever."

"Did I say 107?"


"Oh.  I meant 97."

"Oh.  That makes a difference."

"Oh, okay."

"If her temperature is 97, and she's just tired, I think you can probably hold off until tomorrow and come in to the clinic if she still isn't feeling well."

"Oh, okay."

"If anything changes-- if she gets a high fever, if she starts having trouble breathing, anything like that, then you need to call 911.  And call me back if she starts feeling worse again.  But otherwise just plan to come in tomorrow, okay?"

"Okay, thanks."

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