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Fifteen-minute consultation: Initial management of suspected acute leukaemia by non-specialists
  1. Sam Behjati1,2,
  2. Amy Ruffle2,3,
  3. Anne Kelly2,
  4. Emmy Dickens2
  1. 1Department of Paediatrics, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK
  2. 2Department of Paediatric Oncology and Haematology, Addenbrooke’s Hospital, Cambridge, UK
  3. 3Department of Haematology and Oncology, Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children NHS Foundation Trust, London, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Sam Behjati, University of Cambridge, Cambridge CB2 1TN, UK; sam.behjati{at}


Leukaemia is the most common cancer of childhood. Most children with a new diagnosis of leukaemia are clinically stable at initial presentation. However, there are a number of life-threatening complications that have to be considered and monitored for. These complications include sepsis, tumour lysis syndrome, mediastinal masses, bleeding and pain. The aim of this article is to equip the general paediatrician with a framework for managing children with suspected leukaemia, prior to transfer to the primary treatment centre. The presentation, diagnosis and definitive treatment of acute leukaemia is not in the remit of this article.

  • oncology
  • leukaemia
  • children
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  • SB and AR were joint first authors.

  • SB and AR contributed equally.

  • Contributors SB conceived of the paper. AR and SB were both co-authors on this paper. AR did the literature search. ED and AK contributed expert views. All authors have contributed to editing successive drafts and agreed the content of the final article.

  • Funding This study was funded by Wellcome Trust (Grant 110104/Z/15/Z).

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

  • Patient consent for publication Not required.

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