Medical Surgical Labs WBC White Blood Count #1
The student nurse overhears her nursing mentor remark that the client they are caring for has leukopenia. The student nurse understands that this means:
- White blood count is over 10,000 cells/mcL.
This answer is not correct because this would be called leukocytosis. A white count higher than 10,000 cells/mcL is called leukocytosis and signifies sepsis or infection.
- White blood count is under 5000 cells/mcL.
This answer is correct because a white count under 5,000 cells/mcL is called leukopenia. This means there are an abnormally low number of white blood cells. This usually indicates bone marrow suppression or immunosuppression.
- Red blood count is over 5.9 cells/mcL.
This answer is not correct because a red blood cell count over 5.9 cells/mcL is called polycythemia. Polycythemia is an abnormally high red blood cell count.
- Red blood count is under 4.5 cells/mcL.
This answer is not correct because this is called anemia. Anemia is an abnormally low red blood cell count below 4.5 cells/mcL.
A white blood cell count under 5000 cells/mcL is called leukopenia. This usually indicates bone marrow suppression or immunosuppression.
Leukopenia is a white blood cell count below 5000 cells/mcL. This is usually a result of bone marrow suppression or immunosuppression. A white blood cell count over 10,000 cells/mcL is called leukocytosis. This indicates sepsis or infection. Steroids can also cause leukocytosis. When a client has leukopenia, the client should be placed on neutropenic precautions. This includes monitoring the client for a low-grade fever. Since leukopenia means the immune system is suppressed, the fever will be low, and this means there is a bad infection. The client should have a private room and avoid crowds and people who appear ill. No fresh fruits or vegetables and no flowers in the room. The client should avoid drinking water from a pitcher or water that has been sitting out for over an hour.
Test Taking Tip
Remember your medical terminology and break the word down. Leuko- means white, cyto- means cells, and -penia means deficient. The client is deficient in white blood cells.