How To Know If You Should Go To The ER For A Fever

If you are otherwise healthy and alert, having a low-grade fever may not necessarily be cause for concern. However, an elevated temperature can be indicative of another process or illness that needs to be treated. A severe or prolonged fever can even cause complications on its own. Because there are a number of possible causes of fever, many of which trigger a similar set of symptoms, it can be challenging to self-diagnose your condition. The expert team of board-certified physicians at both of iCare ER & Urgent Care’s convenient locations in Frisco and Fort Worth, TX provides prompt and reliable evaluation, diagnosis, and treatment for patients presenting with fever. Find out more about the possible causes of fever here, and learn what situations may warrant a visit to the ER for fever.


What is a fever?

For most adults, a normal body temperature is between 97°F and 99°F, though 98.6°F is generally accepted as the standard of normal. When a patient’s body temperature becomes elevated to 100.4°F or higher, he or she is considered to have a fever. Oftentimes, a fever indicates that the body is fighting off a virus, infection, or another pathogen. Common symptoms of a fever include:


  • Sweating
  • Chills
  • Headache
  • Body aches
  • Fatigue
  • Loss of appetite


What causes a fever?

There are a variety of potential reasons why a person’s body temperature may become elevated, either temporarily or for several days or weeks. Some of the most common causes of a fever include:


  • Virus
  • Infection
  • Cold and/or flu
  • Stomach bug
  • Recent vaccination
  • Heat exhaustion


How long does a fever last?

Depending on the cause of the fever, the patient’s overall health, what treatments are given, and other factors, a fever can last anywhere from several hours to several weeks. For some of the most common illnesses, such as the flu, most people demonstrate an elevated temperature for about 2 – 4 days.


How high is too high for a fever?

Fever of 103°F or above is considered high grade and should be treated immediately. However, even a low-grade fever may be a sign of a dangerous problem for infants and babies. If you are concerned about fever in your infant, your child, or yourself, visit your nearest Fort Worth or Frisco emergency room within iCare ER & Urgent Care’s unique dual-hybrid facility.


When should you go to the ER for a fever?

For patients who are otherwise healthy, alert, and have an obvious explanation for their low-grade fever – such as a cold – at-home remedies and monitoring may be sufficient. However, any fever above 103°F should be treated immediately in the ER. In addition, if you or your child are experiencing any of the following symptoms in conjunction with a fever, a trip to the ER is warranted:


  • Confusion
  • Severe pain (abdominal pain, headache, muscle pain, etc.)
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Skin rash or irritation
  • Protracted nausea or vomiting
  • Inability to eat or drink
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Chest pain
  • Seizure
  • Inability to stay awake
  • Fever of 103°F or higher
  • Fever lasting longer than 3 – 4 days (children)
  • Any fever (infants)


How is a fever treated in the ER?

To determine the cause of your fever, one of our board-certified ER physicians in Frisco or Fort Worth will perform a thorough examination, take a detailed health history, measure certain vital signs, and possibly draw laboratory studies. Depending on the severity of your condition, the cause of your fever, and other factors, your physician will recommend the most appropriate course of treatment, which may include antibiotics, other medications, fluids, and rest.


Get prompt treatment and rapid relief for your fever by visiting your nearest emergency room in Frisco or Fort Worth, TX

Although some fevers can be treated at home, many cases of fever may indicate a serious problem and should be evaluated immediately. If you are concerned about a high-grade fever or any fever that is accompanied by abnormal or protracted symptoms, visit your nearest iCare ER & Urgent Care center in either Fort Worth or Frisco, TX to be evaluated by one of our professional board-certified physicians for your acute illness and to get the effective treatment and rapid relief you deserve.