I have known a few people with neutropenia. Some of them I have met during my career as a wedding coordinator while others are ordinary friends. Over the years, I became more aware of the vulnerable health of neutropenic people and I promised myself to help them as much as I can.
Neutropenia is a condition that could affect even a completely healthy person. Neutropenic patients have white blood cells that are lower than normal which make them prone to infections and contracting airborne diseases. That is because white blood cells are considered to be the body’s defense mechanism which protects us from harmful bacteria, viruses and microorganisms.
Basic care for people with neutropenia depends on the duration and severity of the condition. If the patient also suffers from fever and other infections, these complications require separate treatment. Surgery is not normally an option buy it may be employed in some cases.
The initial step to the healthcare of neutropenic patients involves strict observance of neutropenic precautions. These are practices that reduce a person’s exposure to possible sources of infections like uncooked or unsanitary foods, dirty environment, and improper oral and personal hygiene. Your doctor will normally give you instructions on the necessary precautions that must be observed within a certain period of time.
Aside from basic healthcare, some patients may have to undergo antibiotic therapy to fight off infections. This type of treatment normally entails the use of third-generation cephalosporins such as cefepime and ceftazidime or their equivalent. For patients who appear septic or unstable, aminoglycoside medications are also normally administered. Aside from these common antibiotics, other types of antibiotics may also be given to a patient depending on his condition. Antibiotics could be given through injection or orally.
Other medical procedures that can aid neutropenic patients include corticosteroid therapy which is considered to be an effective treatment for immune-mediated neutropenic cases. If the condition is caused by nutritional deficiency like folic acid or cobalamin deficiency, the patient will also be given added supplements to correct the deficiency.
For relatives and medical professionals who care for neutropenic patients, there are also certain procedures that must be observed to avoid spreading infection. One is careful hand-washing before and after contacting the patient. Medical practitioners must also avoid administering invasive maneuvers such as urinary catheters that violate the natural barriers of the body which fight infections. If caring for the patient at home, strict dietary precautions must be observed. Relatives of a neutropenic person should also list down and carefully follow the right foods and wrong foods for neutropenic people.
People with neutropenia can easily recover from their condition with support from medical professionals and people around them. If you have a family member who is neutropenic, it is important that you should know the basic care and treatment for this condition. You can find a lot of resources online that can help you properly care and feed neutropenic patients. I have just mentioned some of the basic things you need to know. It is also important that you do your research by asking your doctor and reading other resources.