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Old 04-25-2010, 07:49 AM
 
4,292 posts, read 6,990,869 times
Reputation: 3661
Default antibiotics when white blood cell count is high

Help me understand why the hospital would do this.

My husband is in the hospital following double knee replacement surgery
a week ago . Infection of course is one of the greatest concerns.
Friday they told him he had a slightly elevated white blood count
that could indicate an infection somewhere.
Saturday they ran lots of blood test and urinalysis.
Sunday they decide to put him on an antibiotic.

I am no doctor but why not just start full spectrum antibiotics
when they first saw the white blood count high.

If fact why not do preventive antibiotics if infection is such an hight danger immediately following surgery???
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Old 04-25-2010, 09:34 AM
 
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A high white blood cell count can occur due to stress on the body such as surgery, and other reasons. I think what they did is appropriate. My mother in-law recently had a knee replacement. No antibiotics given at all. A couple months down the road she did have to have them when an infection became apparent. She is now 5 months post surgery and doing well.

I am currently battling a high white blood cell count for unknown reasons. Had all the tests and they have not put me on antibiotics.

I hope all is well for your husband and he recovers well.
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Old 04-25-2010, 05:59 PM
 
Location: Northern NH
4,551 posts, read 6,058,653 times
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I'm just guessing here because I just had my appendix out and I did recieve antibiotics and did have a high white blood cell count. I also work as a RX tech and I do know they do want to be careful about using antibiotics so that the bacteria doesn't become immune. Or if there is any chance that you have a viral type of thing going on then antibiotics would be of no help. Again I am just wildly guessing with a little bit of knowledge which can on occasion be worse than none.
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Old 04-25-2010, 06:09 PM
 
2,537 posts, read 6,057,297 times
Reputation: 3559
Quote:
Originally Posted by kelly237 View Post
Help me understand why the hospital would do this.

My husband is in the hospital following double knee replacement surgery
a week ago . Infection of course is one of the greatest concerns.
Friday they told him he had a slightly elevated white blood count
that could indicate an infection somewhere.
Saturday they ran lots of blood test and urinalysis.
Sunday they decide to put him on an antibiotic.

I am no doctor but why not just start full spectrum antibiotics
when they first saw the white blood count high.

If fact why not do preventive antibiotics if infection is such an hight danger immediately following surgery???
Every patient typically receives a dose of intravenous antibiotics prior to the incision being made in orthopaedic surgery when an implant is to be used...

There is good science to promote this practice.

There is equally good science to show that "prophylactic" antibiotic use after surgery is useless in trying to "prevent" an infection.
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Old 04-25-2010, 07:20 PM
 
Location: Mostly in my head
16,135 posts, read 29,204,015 times
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There are many different types of bacteria. W/o a culture, giving an antibiotic blindly could be useless.
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Old 05-02-2010, 08:19 PM
 
4,292 posts, read 6,990,869 times
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Thanks for all the answers.
He is doing great!!!
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Old 03-02-2012, 12:36 PM
 
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My husband had knee replacement and it clearly states on the post op information we were sent home with that if he got sick with a cold or anything to contact them. Well, he did and the doctor said if he ended up with a fever at some point to call back and they would put him on antibiotics...apparently the knee could be compromised from infection in any other part of the body. Increases in white blood cell counts usually means anything from stress to fighting off infections or colds is my understanding.
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Old 03-02-2012, 01:06 PM
 
Location: home state of Myrtle Beach!
5,474 posts, read 9,919,411 times
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Yes, that is true. If he gets a fever it is likely that infection has set in and that will lower WBC.
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