Pediatric Blood Cell Disorders

1 What are Pediatric White Blood Cell Disorders?

Pediatric white blood cell disorders occur when the child has too many (leukocytosis) or too little (leukopenia) white blood cell count. The body produces leukocytes or white blood cells that help fight infections, as well as fungi and viruses.

Long term leukopenia may increase the risk of infections in children and can cause several diseases and health conditions, as well. On the other hand, leukocytosis or high white blood cell count means that the child has excessive number of white blood cells in the blood, often a result of an infection.

There are several types of white blood cell disorders in children. These are the following:

  • Neutropenia- Takes place when the blood has a low number of neutrophils.Neutrophil is a kind of white blood cell which fights bacterial infections and fungi.
  • Lymphocytopenia- A white blood disorder that takes place when there is a decrease in lymphocytes, the white blood cell that protects the body against viral infections.
  • Monocyte disorders- A decreased number of monocyte is caused by toxin exposure, chemotherapy and several others.
  • Eosinophilia. This takes place when the eosinophil cells number are higher than normal.
  • Basophilic disorders- This occurs when the number of basophils, the white blood cells that promote healing from wounds, infections, and allergic reactions, are significantly decreased.

2 Symptoms

Symptoms of pediatric white blood cell disorders include:

  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Fatigue
  • Chronic infections
  • Malaise or the feeling of being unwell

3 Causes

Pediatric blood cell disorders are usually caused as a result of another health condition or disease. It could also be inherited from parents. Moreover, if you have some kind of autoimmune disorder, such as lupus, your body’s immune system may attack your own blood platelets, compromising your body’s ability to stop bleeding.

Low levels of white blood cells are caused by infections, which can overwhelm the number of white blood cells in the body. There are certain disorders that are capable of destroying white blood cells much faster than the body can produce them.

4 Treatment

The treatment required for pediatric white blood cell disorders depends on:

  • the type of pediatric blood disorder,
  • the age of the child,
  • his or her overall health status.

Here are the treatment options available:

  • Medication: White cell disorders may be treated by certain antibiotics, depending on the type of infection or the cause of the disorder. Medications can be used in combination, depending on the doctor’s advice.
  • Surgery: In some cases when medication is proven ineffective, surgery may be required. A bone marrow transplant involves stem cell transfer, which can promote normal production of blood cells.
  • Blood transfusion: Another option is to transfuse blood from a healthy donor in order to regulate white blood cell production.

Both surgery and blood transfusion require certain criteria for the treatment to be successful. Donors for bone marrow transplant must have a matching genetic profile. Donors for blood transfusion must have a compatible blood type, as well.