Fever with Neutropenia

Home Care Management of Fever with Low Blood Count (Neutropenia)

Fever is a body temperature of 100.5° or greater when checked orally (by mouth) that lasts longer than 24 hours. Usually fever is caused by an infection.  Infections are most commonly viral, bacterial or fungal.  Other reasons for fever are: inflammatory illness, drug reaction or tumor.  Sometimes the cause is unknown.  A fever is your body’s natural defense against germs.

Neutropenia is when your white blood cell count, your “infection fighters”, is too low. When this happens, there is an increased risk that your body will not be able to fight off an infection or virus.

Homecare Instructions

  • Wash your hands often. Wash, after using the bathroom, before and after preparing food and after contact with individuals that are sick
  • Take antibiotics as prescribed
  • Check your temperature by mouth if able.  If unable, take it under your arm. Avoid taking it rectally
  • Record your temperature readings so you can discuss them with your physician or nurse
  • Avoid crowds or anyone with infection, cough or fever
  • Do not change cat litter or clean up animal feces
  • Before taking acetaminophen (Tylenol®), check with your nurse or physician
  • Drink extra fluids
  • Wash any fruit or vegetable with a skin.  It is best to remove skin altogether
  • Avoid anything that may cause a cut or abrasion of your skin.  If you do have a cut or an abrasion, wash with soap and water and report it to your physician or nurse
  • Keep your mouth clean by brushing your teeth twice a day and flossing once a day (unless you are otherwise told not to floss)
  • Keep your body clean by bathing daily
  • Keep warm
  • Rest more often than usual

 

Report the Following Problems

  • Fever greater than 100.5°
  • Shaking chills and body aches
  • Inability to take in fluids
  • New areas of redness, swelling, pus or yellow drainage from an injury
  • New abdominal pain
  • Feeling out of breath or a racing heart at rest or after activity
  • Sore throat or white patches in the mouth
  • New skin rash
  • New cough or colored spit production with cough
  • Burning, urgency, frequency or pain with urination
  • Call immediately if new confusion