NEUTROPENIC PRECAUTIONS TO PREVENT INFECTIONS
Neutropenia is a decrease in the number of white blood cells. These cells help the body fight infections. White blood cells often decrease after most chemotherapy. These blood cells usually recover before the next scheduled dose. Since your white blood cells are low or may get low, you will need to protect your body from infection.
In order to prevent infections, when your counts are low:
- Maintain good hygiene
- Use meticulous total body hygiene especially to high risk areas including the perineum
- Wash hands after use of the bathroom
- Use hand lotion to prevent dry, cracked skin
- Use white petroleum jelly to dry lips as needed
- Oral Care:
- Inspect mouth for any open areas or reddened areas and notify physician if you notice these
- Use good oral hygiene after each meal
- Physician may order medication
- Make sure you are drinking plenty of fluids
- no raw fruits or vegetables in diet that cannot be peeled
- Avoid crowds
- Avoid people with infections & wear masks when in doctor’s office/hospital.
- Make sure there are no rectal exams, medications or temperatures unless absolutely necessary.
- Use precautions to avoid falls
- Notify Physician immediately or proceed directly to the Emergency Room if temperature >4
- Make sure you don’t have a fever before taking Tylenol/aspirin containing products.
- Avoid invasive procedures like dental work and notify any other physicians of your low blood count