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adele g
Neutropenic precautions in cancer patients?

What about neutropenic patients? They can't have live plants in their hospital room and can only have bottled water. No one can go in there if they were recently around another isolated patient.

Foods rich in antioxidants and high in vitamins. Fruits with Red color, or darker than red color have cancer fighting properties as well. Strawberries, plums. Juicing is also an excellent way to get the most nutritional value from fruits and vegatables. Certain tea leaves and herbs can also be helpful. Stay away from artificial flavors and colors as well. Also check out a book by Dr. Trudeau (I think that's the right spelling) These things can help the immune system when the body can't perform 100%

Denny O
http://www.realnurseed.com/t1000.htm go there and look at the information they have

Think the biggest thing is too keep away from large crowds of people, if you have to go out wear a mask. We were told for our daughter if she was going to get sick while neutropenic it would more likely come from a naturally accruing bug in her system. Good personal hygiene, have to shower each day even if you dont feel like it.

Its hard to believe anything doctors and nurses say, when my daughter was diagnosed with AML (leukaemia) they where very picky when she was neutropenic, she had to stay in hospital cause she had no white counts. By the end of treatment, she more or less went into bone marrow failure (took months too start working again) they sent her home and told us to send her to school while she was neutropenic. I didnt send her, I wouldnt risk her life for the sake of her going to school.

Anyway there are heaps of websites, there doesnt seem to be alot left you can do or eat while neutropenic.

1. Avoid large groups!!!!! We advise our neutropenic patients to stick close to their rooms (or homes if they are discharged) and to wear a mask when in contact with others. When you do have visitors, make sure they wash their hands well, ESPECIALLY as we are moving into flu season! If they are sick, (or think they might possibly be thinking about getting sick) its best if they wait till they are better, because a neutropenic patient can't fight off infections. Usually it is good to avoid children if possible (not saying you have to ban your OWN children, but they don't need to have their friends over).

2. Don't eat fresh fruits and vegetables. Some people say it is ok to eat those with thick skins (bananas, etc.) but even those have to be handled very carefully.....we just ban fresh fruits and veggies all together. Better safe than sorry. Canned or cooked fruits and veggies are fine. Also, don't keep fresh flowers/plants in the room/house. May help to remind friends that flowers are not the best way to show support right now....why not use that money to donate to a cancer research fund or another charity that is important to you??

3. Practice good oral hygiene. There are a couple of things we have our patients use very regularly. One is a mouthwash such as Biotene....it is much less harsh than many of the others. Use it several times a day. There is also a med call Nystatin that we ask patients to use. If your doc gives it to you, just swish around to coat the mouth and throat. This one helps prevent yeast infections in the mouth (thrush). Oral hygeine is very important as the mouth is very prone to sores during cancer treatment, and it is so much easier to try and prevent it than to try and deal with it after its already there!!!

4. If you have any kind of permananent iv access such as a picc line make sure to take good care of it and keep it clean. Your med team should show you how to do this. I can't emphasize how important this is....those lines are a direct line to blood!!! It is painful and dangerous if they are infected.

Those are the biggies. Mainly, just use common sense. Also, don't be afraid to ask your doc/nurse/whoever else comes in your room if they have washed their hands. They are human and can forget!

Do you want to know what they are?

In our health system, when a pt. is on neutropenic precautions:

1) Gown/gloves/mask when you enter room to be with them

2) They gown, glove, mask when ever they leave the room for ANY reason: test, walk in hall etc.

3) No flowers in the room

4) We usually put them in the negative pressure rooms ( These are the ones with double doors..........you enter through one into a vestibule and don the protective wear. Enter the room through the second door. Tho not required, we still tend to do this more as a reminder

5) As you should with ALL patients, hand hygiene before entering and upon leaving room and even if gloved. Hand hygiene preferable with antibacterial hand gel.

6) If anyone has even the barest hint of a sniffle or any symptom, we do not let them treat the patient.

7) Any equipment is brought in clean and left in there....stethoscopes, BP cuffs, BiPAP/CiPAP machines, vents, walkers, etc.

Rules apply to visitors as well....hand hygiene, gowns/gloves/masks/ not permitted if ill.

We also limit children.

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