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Vaccines And The Prophylactic Use Of Antipyretics

3047 words - 12 pages

Background
Many parents express concern and worry over their child developing fever after receiving vaccines. Because of this, parents often choose to medicate their child with antipyretics in order to prevent this unpleasant side effect. According to Pedulla (2012), it was previously common practice by pediatric health care provides to recommend using an antipyretic prior to the administration of immunizations in order to reduce fever and discomfort experienced by the patient until a study done by Prymula and colleagues in 2009 showed evidence that these types of medications caused a decline in primary antibody response. Current practice in most pediatric clinics is not standardized when it comes to the administration of antipyretics and immunizations. There are healthcare providers who will order a dose of acetaminophen for a child to be given prior to administering immunizations, some providers send patients home with a prescription of acetaminophen or ibuprofen to be given once a child returns home, yet others tell parents to avoid the use of acetaminophen or ibuprofen until a child actually has a fever. So which practice is correct? Does the prophylactic use of antipyretics prior to the administration of immunizations decrease the efficacy of the vaccine? What education should be given to parents regarding the use of acetaminophen and ibuprofen before immunizations? These are the questions behind the proposal to research the outcomes of administering antipyretics, such as acetaminophen and ibuprofen, prior to immunization and its effect on vaccine effectiveness.

Statement of Significance
When it comes to immunizations, nurses are at the front lines. Most of all childhood immunizations are administered by nurses in a variety of large-scale settings such as schools, clinics, and hospitals. Therefore, the nurse is the health care provider that will most likely encounter parents in face-to-face communication regarding immunizations, fever, and antipyretics. Nurses will often be the individuals that, “address these concerns and offer advice of what to expect and how to prevent or respond to side effects,” (Batenburg et al., 2011, p. 5). It is vital that the nurse be aware and educated regarding the most current and most up-to-date research findings in regards to immunization practices. Wallstein et al. (2012) believes that “aggressive educational campaigns” regarding the correct use of antipyretics should be targeted towards physicians and nurses. The information and data gained from this study will help determine appropriate practice and guide nurses to provide accurate evidence-based information to parents.

Purpose of the Study
The purpose of this study is to determine the efficacy of vaccines when antipyretics are administered prophylactically prior to immunizations. The results of this study will help determine appropriate evidence-based immunization practices.
Research Question/Hypothesis
For the purpose of this study, the following...

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