My understanding from clinical rotations is a high grade is over 103F and low grade is from 100-102F. And that's for oral temps.
Last edit by emtb2rn on May 7, '07
: Reason: forgot a couple of words
May 7, '07
May 7, '07
My sources (Signs & Symptoms: A 2-in-1 Guide for Nurses and Pathophysiology: The Biologic Basis for Disease in Adults and Children) states that a low fever is between 99 to 100.4 degrees and a high fever would be above 104 degrees. I was always taught (or learned on the job) that 104 was the magic number. 104 degrees is where the danger of seizure occurs. At less than that, the body is doing it's job of resetting the hypothalamic set point in order to fight off the invading pyrogen. The only time I've ever known of doctors to OK antipyretics to lower temperatures below this 104 degree mark is when they already have the patient covered with antibiotics.
At 106 degrees you have a critical situation on your hands. Seizure is definitely likely as well as a change in their level of consciousness. The purpose of raising the temperature is to warm the core temperature of the body. However, in doing this, and as the body temperature gets higher and higher, nerve damage and coagulation of cell proteins occurs which can lead to and cause convulsions and at temperatures of 109.4 degrees the person will die.
May 9, '07
I think it depends on the age of the person as well. 104F fever in an infant vs child vs adult.