23 answers

High White Blood Cell Count

my 1 yr old has been sick off and on since mid oct. in nov. he was put in the hospital with a viral infection and has just been sickly since...ear infections upper respirtory problems colds the whole nine yards. i took him for his 12 month checkup and the did a routine blood drawl no biggie other than him screaming and fighting the nurses of course. well today i took him back to the doc(its been a week and a half) he is having upper respirtory issues again and he had a spot in his diaper area that turned into staff infection also can handle this been thru it before with my other kids. so we get ready to leave and the doc says he needs to come back in a week after hes been on antibiotics to redo hes blood. they said that his white blood cell count was way too high and they wanted to recheck it after antibiotics. now when they did it the first time he wasnt sick so we are hoping the reason is the staff infection and we just didnt know he had it yet but other options are lupus and luekemia so i just wanted to know if anyone else has had this happen or has any info or opinions would love to hear them all. im sure its nothing but i like to have all the info i can and be prepared for anything thanks so much!

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thank you all so much for the support and advice i got for my sons having high white blood cell count! we went back to the doc on monday to recheck his blood and the called me today with the results. his wbc is still elevated and now his platlets are elevated. we go back next monday to do another cbc so much fun not at all so this is the updated so far and i will keep everyone posted with the results of the next test. thank you so much again for all your prayers!

the amstrong family

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When my little girl was 3 she was very ill for 3 months, they thought she might have leukemia, I put her on liquid minerals and she responded right away, maybe this will help you. I also tried dag, (an herbal solution) for my daughters diaper rash which was staph.

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Dear A.,
I have been a nurse 32 years (a cancer/hematology nurse and a mother/baby nurse). There are many things that can cause a high white cell count-most of them are not to worry about. If your son had leukemia, all the white cells would be what we call "skewed"-not in the normal percentages. The doctor wouldn't be waiting if the counts were really off.
I have seen too many people sick for months at a time this year. The strain of flu that came around is strong and not covered by the flu shots available. It frequently leads to pneumonia and bronchitis, and the respiratory issues linger awhile. Your son may be completely normal and just have had the flu to start this process.
No matter, I agree with those who encourage adding high quality natural vitamins and minerals to his diet. He needs good nutrition to replace the sick cells as they die with healthy cells. He needs added nutrition because the antibiotics and illness have cut down on his ability to use his foods well. The antibiotics have likely killed all his "good" intestinal bacteria, which hurts digestion and absorption. He does need Optiflora by Shaklee-it's the only product I've found to actually work like it says it will. I recommend it often. You would need to put the tiny pill in warm water for awhile to soften it, then give it with a bite of something soft and thick. The powder that goes with it is sweet tasting, and can be given in anything. It feeds and supports the "good" bacteria, and helps support the colon.
I do phone and email consultations without charge, if you have questions.

1 mom found this helpful

The angles will help. A long time ago, anyway the basic problem was allgeries to dust etc. My son, who is now 42, still remebers erthomycian( the antibotic) of choice back then. So pray and clean your house. My son was also "alergic " to his own bacteria on his skin. And would reinfect himself. We did all the protocal for allergies. Washable rugs., little clorax, double rinse on his clothes., strip the room, no dust catchers. Toys were wahed frequently Anyway God bless and keep positive.

Did they lance the area where the staph infection was to drain the pus? What was the white count? If not, and his WBC was too high, he really needs to be on IV antibiotics and checked more often than in a week. A staph infection is serious!!! My son had one and he had to be hospitalized, had surgery and IV antibiotics. I am a nurse and I see abscesses on a regular basis, children need more urgent treatment than an adult on this. You may need to see a surgeon for this if its a "boil" or abscess. Clindamycin is usually the RX for MRSA, or Bactrim DS suspension. ALso you need to do hot soaks with warm compresses on the area every 3-4 hours while awake. Let me know! GOod luck. Nick

Hi my name is M. B I have a child with Luekemia (ALL). It can develope very fast please see a hemotologist or a dr. that deals with kids with cancer (Childrens Hospital, St. Judes) do not over look this. If you feel you are not getting any answers please see another Dr. soon. There may be something wrong with your childs immune system. They need run a full cbc and anc count. Take it from me they may be the doctors, but you're the MOM!!! Good Luck, My prayers are with you and your family...

I don't know much about high blood counts so I won't be much help, I just wanted to let you know that I'm praying for you, your little one, and your family.


When my little girl was 3 she was very ill for 3 months, they thought she might have leukemia, I put her on liquid minerals and she responded right away, maybe this will help you. I also tried dag, (an herbal solution) for my daughters diaper rash which was staph.

Just some thoughts from a mom like you: I don't know about leukemia, but just being sick raising white blood cell count. Make sure you finish off the whole batch of antibiotic, even if he's feeling better - most people don't finish the dose, and that makes it more likely to have a relapse. Don't let him sleep with a bottle to help prevent ear infections. Think about his nutrition - is he getting enough vitamins? If he's on solid foods now he may need a supplement. I give my 1-yr-old a dropper full of Poly-vitol (spelling?) - infant vitamin drops made by Enfamil that you can get at Wal-Mart. He still takes formula (similac go and grow) but eats solids more and more now. Next, think about where he's getting the viruses - nursery, daycare, your other kids? Lysol everything, change sheets alot, wash and sanitize hands and bottles.... avoid nursery or daycare if possible, or ask the workers to take special care not to contaminate him. For any diaper-related rashes, I like A & D ointment.

Hun my grandson Trace is 2 an he has been sick from the day he was born an when he was 7 mo old i ask girl to get the dr to send him to St judes for more test an they finely did an after many test on him an Cindy an me they found out he has XLR I can send you a link so you can read more about it just keep telling the dr to do more test an dont take no for the answer, will keep you an son in my prayers


Hun i hope these links will help you
hugs S.

I wouldn't worry just yet as everything i have read recommends a follow up test in case of present infection that caused a spike.. so you can see the info below... some reassuring and some scary but at this point you just want to be educated and not scared as it may be nothing at all. but my thoughts and prayers are with your family and much hope that it was spiked from the underlying staff infection. -mb

An elevated white blood count only shows some type of inflammation. It will not give the answer. Serial exams with the md would be the recommendation.

THE SCARY>>>>>>>
White blood cells (leukocytes) help fight infection in your body. A normal white blood cell count is between 4,500 and 10,000 cells per microliter. A high white blood cell count (leukocytosis) isn't a specific disease. But it may indicate an underlying problem that requires medical evaluation. Causes of a high white blood cell count include:

1. Infection
2. Use of certain medications, such as corticosteroids,
antibiotics or anti-seizure drugs
3. Severe physical or emotional stress
4. Chronic bone marrow diseases such as a myeloproliferative
5. Acute or chronic leukemia
6. Tissue damage, such as from burns

A., I know very well what you are going through. My 16 month old has had the same issues since he was 2 weeks old. Except instead of persistent ear infections, he gets regular pink eye outbreaks, almost every 3 months. His pediatrician has him on so many medicines it's unreal and like you every time I take him to the doctor, they basically tell me that it is a cold or upper respiratory infection. Just out of curiosity, is the little one on any steroid treatments for his respiratory issues???

Lupus and leukemia are both very serious diagnoses and at his age too. I certainly hope that it is just something simple that can be fixed. I will pray for you and your family and hope that everything turns out okay.

I pray that the high white blood cell count is simply a result of infections and nothing else. Kudos to your doctor for being so thorough and on top of things though! Not every doctor would take the time to be so thorough and caring.

A., ask your doctor if your son could have MRSA (pronounced MER-sa). The staph infection and high white cell count could be trouble. MRSA is hard to clear up because it is resistant to certain types of antibiotics; I'm sure that's why the dr. wants him to come back. Just an issue you might want to raise w/ the dr...keep us posted. And do finish the antibiotics -- that's good advice.

I'm no expert but I'm a nursing student who has to study a lot of what lab work means. I also work in a hospital. I understand your concern, especially after your little one has been so ill. This has been a horrible year for flu/resp infections! There is a lot of lab work in diagnosing medical conditions and your doc will have taken this into consideration, please listen to your physician. While dr's are not gods, they do have a lot of training and schooling. Take the antibiotics, PLEASE DON'T STOP THEM and do go back for the follow up and take it from there. Please don't panic, I know it's hard after all you've been through.


Your baby sounds like my son when he as a baby. He had continued ear infections and upper respitory issues. I finally got tired of the Peditrition giving him antibiotics, i took him to ENT specialist. He had tubes put in his ears and he was check for allergies. Poof - issues solved. He is now 9 y/o and very really gets sick. In the past year he has been sick once, and that was this winter with the flu (the whole family had it).
I hope this helps you.

My friend couldn't take her little boy to daycare because he had the same staff thing going on. I took care of him for the 2 weeks he was on antibiotics. Now my whole family has the upper respirtory issues. We have all been sick, and he is sick too. The staff infection is hard to get rid of. It is harmless, until it gets into the body. I have a couple of questions. Does your son snore? Does he sometimes have dark circles under his eyes? Does he frequently scratch, or pull on his ears? He could have other problems. My daughter did this and they did a tympanogram and found an abnormal pressure behind the ear. She had adnoids out and tubes in her ears. She is 16 now and she never took antibiotics since then. She was 18 months old then.


This is a link to the Mayo Clinic Website with a possible answer to you question. I will pray for your sons quick recovery.

Please have your doctor check the illness called ITP...a form of hemophilia....our daughter had it but due to quick treatment and medicine it was corrected. It's where the immune system turns & fights itself. It's not a common occurance so please do some checking. If his blood test shows the platlets in the blood are below 50,000 treatment should be started...good luck.

My son was diagnosed last year with a blood disorder that affects his platelets. In the beginning they had to rule out leukemia, lymphoma and bone marrow issues. What I do know is that with leukemia there is usually other cell involvement. In other words, the red cells or platelets would be off too. As for lupus there are also multiple criteria for diagnosing that and there are usually multiple symptoms. I know it is hard but try to relax and stay calm. It is most likely because of the underlying infection. My daughter has some autoimmune issues and last year her white cell differential was off and they just waited and rechecked in a month and it was all back to normal. I am a believer in educating yourself as much as possible about conditions your child may have but be careful not to read too much right now until you know for sure that it wasn't just from the infection. You can drive yourself crazy with the "what ifs". I know, I did it to myself last year in regards to my son.

Hi A.:) I work for a hematologist/oncologist (although not pediatric) so I understand your concern. About 6 weeks ago my daughter had an ear infection. No real symptoms, just told me her ear hurt (2 1/2 yo). Her white count was 25,000 which is pretty high. When her doctor told me that of coarse I was really worried because I know more than the average person about that! But it turned out to just be the infection. Her doctor was not all that worried, but I was! The high range for normal with a white count it about 10,000, so hers was getting up there. I bet your son's is just because he had that staff infection. I know we can't help but worry because that is our job as Mommies!

Hey A.,

I am a nurse who worked oer a ped for years. Our white blood cells are our fighters when we have an infection they elevate the worse the infection the higher the count. Just like anything else there are standards on wht to do. If the count is above a certain # and there ins an apperant infection you can usually assume it is the infection. Depending on the count the physician may even choose to hospitalize with iv antibiotics. If the count does not go down after treatments and the infection seems to clear there could be another problem. Just aks him what should be normal and whats to high and aks every time the do a cbc. I would hope that if there were a true concern of somthing else he would adress it.

The infection can definately affect the white blood cell count. Our oldest had this problem when he was an infant. His white cell was constantly high and we could not figure out what was wrong. We told the Dr. that he would sometimes have a discharge come out of his belly button. He took a sample and sent it off and he had a staph infection in his belly button and was put on the correct antibiotic and it went back to normal.

An elevated white cell count is always reflective of an infection and the staff infection should have it raised. I became familiar with white counts when our daughter was going through a urinary tract problem and this was always our red flag. He may have an allergy to his formula if he continues to get upper resp. problems. Our son did the same and was always suffering from ear and nose problems. We swapped to a soy formula which helped a great deal and then rather than using a homog. milk at 12 mos. he had to use the powdered milk that you buy and add water. Definitely take him back for lab work after the antio. and then for a follow up when he appears well just to get his "normal" reading.

A., I've been a Shklee distributor for 17 years. I'm on the Mamasource under Health and Nutriton, It think. You should try our multi vitamin for chldren. They have chewables and powder. They are oraganic and bioavailable, meaning they absorb into the boodstream within 15 minutes. He just needs to build his immune system. Optr-flora would also be great. Go to Shaklee.com. If you need help with some pricing, let me know. G. willis mother of 4 grown children.

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