Patho Patho #15

Question

The nurse is reviewing the complete blood count of a client who presents with fever. The white blood cell count is 18,000 cells/mL. Which condition has the client developed?

Answers

  1. Leukocytosis
    • Rationale:

      This answer is correct as leukocytosis is the term for an elevated white blood cell count. White blood cell counts should range from 5000-10000 cells/mL so 18000 is significantly elevated.

  2. Leukopenia
    • Rationale:

      This answer choice is not correct because leukopenia is the term for a decreased white blood cell count.

  3. Neutrophilia
    • Rationale:

      This answer choice is not correct because this is the term used to indicate an out of range neutrophil count, as opposed to all white blood cells.

  4. Thrombocytopenia
    • Rationale:

      This answer choice is not correct because thrombocytopenia refers to a decrease in the number of circulating platelets.

Overview

Leukocytosis, or an elevated white blood cell count, occurs in response to an infectious process. A normal white blood cell count ranges from 5000-10000 cells/ mL. A white blood cell count of 18000 cells/ mL indicates a significant infection.

Explanation

Learning Outcomes

In order to answer this question correctly, it is essential to know the normal values for blood cell counts. The most tested blood cells will be red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets. Leukocytosis is the term for an elevated white blood ell count which likely indicates an infectious process.

Test Taking Tip

Know the normal ranges for blood cell counts as well as suffixes. For example, -penia indicates that a count is low, whereas -cytosis indicates that a count is elevated.

Video Rationale