Regional Cancer Center ~ Erie, PA

Infection

Your white blood cells help fight infections in your body. Chemotherapy may lower the white blood cell count, which increases your risk of infection.

Signs of Infection

  • Redness
  • Swelling
  • Pus formation
  • Sputum
  • Nasal drainage
  • Cough — with or without mucus
  • Sore throat
  • Sores in mouth/white coating in mouth
  • Burning on urination/frequent urination
  • Blood in urine
  • Pain
  • Chilling/rigors
  • Fever
  • If any signs of infection are present, take your temperature every 2-3 hours while awake; call The Regional Cancer Center.
  • Call immediately with a temperature of 100.5º or higher.

Infection Prevention

  • Avoid people who are ill.
  • Keep body clean by bathing daily.
  • Practice good oral hygiene.
  • Do not eat raw or undercooked food.
  • Wash produce thoroughly.
  • Keep cutting boards, counters, utensils and dishes clean.
  • Contact the oncologist before receiving any vaccinations.
  • Avoid changing diapers or coming in contact with bodily secretions of infants or children when white blood cells are low.
  • Wash hands after handling pets.
  • Avoid contact with pet feces if white blood cells are low.
  • Avoid cleaning aquariums and bird cages.
  • Wear gloves when gardening — avoid spreading manure.
  • Wash hands before and after preparing a meal or snack, and before and after eating.
  • Wash hands after using the bathroom.
  • Wash hands after being in a public place.
  • Wash hands after household chores.

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