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Care Guide: When to Call Your Doctor

Review our list of symptoms to help inform you of when to call for help. Notify your treatment team immediately about any of the following symptoms:

  • Fever - A temperature greater than or equal to 101º F once, or two temperatures greater than or equal to 100.5º F, taken at least one hour apart, within 24 hours. Always take the patient’s temperature under the tongue or under the arm. NEVER take a temperature in the bottom (rectally), as it may cause bleeding or infection.
  • Difficulty breathing
    • Coughing that does not stop
    • Fast breathing
    • Very slow breathing
    • Shortness of breath
    • Chest pain
  • Bruising or bleeding
    • A nosebleed that does not stop after squeezing the nostrils firmly together for 10 minutes
    • Bleeding gums
    • Blood in the urine or stool (bowel movement)
    • Bruising or tiny red spots (petechiae, caused by a shortage of platelets) on the skin
  • Exposure - Inform your treatment team of any exposure of the patient or anyone in contact with the patient to chicken pox, shingles, measles, German measles, tuberculosis or other contagious diseases (diseases that are easily passed from one person to another)
  • Headaches
    • Headaches that occur in the morning
    • Headaches that do not go away
  • Pain
  • Rash
  • Changes in vision, hearing, balance or energy levels
  • Changes in normal behavior
  • Constipation
    • No stool in 3 days
    • Pain with stool
  • Diarrhea (loose stools that happen more than three times per day)
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Inability to take fluids or medicine
  • Difficulty urinating
    • Pain or burning with urination
    • Decreased amounts or frequency of urine

If any of these symptoms occur, or if you are worried about the patient, call the hospital operator at 312.227.4000. If you are calling during the day Monday through Friday, ask the operator to page your outpatient oncology nurse. If you are calling on evenings, nights, weekends or holidays, have the operator page the oncology doctor on call.