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Health Information For Parents
Neutropenia (noo-treh-PEE-nee-eh) is when the blood doesn’t have enough of a type of white blood cell. These cells, called neutrophils, fight bacteria. Bacteria are germs that cause infections. Without enough neutrophils, serious infections can happen.
Most children with neutropenia need medical care right away if they have any signs of an infection. Common signs include fevers, spreading redness around a cut, and shivering or chills. With quick treatment, most infections in children with neutropenia get better.
Compared with other kids, a child with neutropenia may have infections:
The symptoms depend on what kind of infection the child has (for example, ear pain in a child with an ear infection).
Someone with neutropenia has a low number of neutrophils (NOO-treh-filz) in the bloodstream.
Neutropenia can be due to:
Sometimes doctors don’t know what causes a person’s neutropenia (called idiopathic neutropenia).
Doctors diagnose neutropenia with a blood test called a complete blood count (CBC).
To find out why a child has neutropenia, a hematologist (a doctor who specializes in blood diseases) will:
Treatment for neutropenia depends on its cause and how severe it is. Not all cases need treatment.
Doctors use the ANC (absolute neutrophil count) to help them make decisions about treatment. The ANC is a blood test that measures the number of neutrophils. The lower the number is, the more likely the child is to get serious infections.
Treatment, when needed, can include:
To help your child, follow the doctor’s instructions on:
It’s important to find care right away if kids with neutropenia have any signs of infection. Quick treatment usually helps them get better.
Call the doctor right away if you see any signs or symptoms of an infection, such as:
Having a child with a serious medical condition can feel overwhelming for any family. But you don’t have to go it alone. Talk to anyone on the care team about ways to find support. You also can visit online sites for more information and support, such as:
From treatments and prevention to coping with the emotional aspects of cancer, the Cancer Center provides comprehensive information that parents need.
Visit our Cancer Center for teens to get information and advice on treating and coping with cancer.
Cancer is a serious illness that needs special treatment. Find out more about how kids can cope with cancer.
Many families with a child in remission feel empowered to make lifestyle changes that could benefit their child’s health in the future. Here are some tips.
Lymphoma is cancer that begins in the body’s lymphatic tissue. It’s a common type of cancer in children, but most recover from it.
Amanda’s life changed dramatically when she was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s disease. Find out more in this article for kids.
Get the basics on cancer and cancer treatments in this article.
Leukemia refers to cancers of the white blood cells. With the proper treatment, the outlook for kids with leukemia is quite good.
Chemotherapy (chemo) is treatment with medicines that stop the growth of cancer cells.
Chemotherapy is a big word for treatment with medicines used to help people who have cancer. This medicine kills the cancer cells that are making the person sick.
Radiation therapy, also called radiotherapy, irradiation, or X-ray therapy, is one of the most common forms of cancer treatment.
Chemotherapy (chemo) is treatment with medicines that stop the growth of cancer cells. Find out how chemo works and what to expect when getting treatment.
Note: All information is for educational purposes only. For specific medical advice, diagnoses, and treatment, consult your doctor.
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