Low WBC count
inc: infection, inflammatiuon, autoimmune & leukemia
dec: prolong infection or bone marroe suppression
Susceptibility to infection increases as WBCs decrease. Visitors with colds or infections should take pre-cautions (e.g., wear mask) or avoid visiting the client. Fever, chills, upper respiratory infections, or sore throat should be reported to health care provider. Health care providers and visitors should wash hands before and after contact with the client.
Neutrophils are the primary WBCs that fight infections. Usual signs of infection (pain, swelling, redness,warmth, pus) may be absent or greatly reduced in neutropenic clients. Monitor for increase (or decrease)in body temperature. Elevated temperature is considered a sign of infection.
Temperatures of 38.3° C orabove should be reported to health care provider immediately. Appropriate cultures (e.g., blood, urine,sputum) are collected, and an antibiotic regimen is initiated. Assess for localized infections. Auscultate breath sounds. Monitor WBC.
Colony-stimulating factors (e.g., filgrastim) may be administered to stimulate production of WBCs.