How do you raise low white blood cell counts?


Quick Answer

A low white-blood-cell count can be increased with a blood transfusion and medications designed to stimulate white blood cell production. If the low count is caused by chemotherapy, temporarily stopping the cancer treatment can improve the blood-cell count, explains Mayo Clinic.

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Full Answer

A blood transfusion for a low white-blood-cell count is a risky and complicated procedure that is only used on rare occasions, warns Mayo Clinic. White blood-cell transfusions are reserved for at-risk patients with severe infections that are unresponsive to antibiotics, according to Johns Hopkins Medicine. Corticosteroids, epinephrine, heparin, lithium and beta adrenergic agonists are prescription drug options that can increase an individual’s white-blood-cell count, according to MedlinePlus.

Individuals with a low white-blood-cell count are prone to illness and infection, due to a low level of neutrophils — a type of white blood cell that fights infection. In the most extreme cases, having an infection with a low white-blood-cell count can lead to death. Individuals should avoid unnecessary exposure to sick people, crowds, raw meat, eggs and animal waste. A serious infection can result from a small abrasion, so everyday activities, such as shaving, chopping food or brushing teeth, need to be performed with care. Getting plenty of rest is also an important part of coping with a low white-blood-cell count, says Mayo Clinic.

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