White blood cells, which are referred to as leukocytes, are responsible for helping to fight off infections from fungi, bacteria, and viruses. When a child’s body produces too many or too few leukocytes, he or she is suffering from a pediatric white blood cell disorder.
Leukopenia results in a low white blood cell count, and this means that a child will have too few white blood cells circulating throughout the blood. The risk of infection increases when this condition lasts over a long period of time.
Leukocytosis refers to a high white blood cell count, and it means that there are too many white blood cells moving around in the bloodstream. This usually occurs because of an infection, but other conditions and diseases could cause this disorder to occur long-term.
Other pediatric white blood cell disorders include eosinophilia, neutropenia, lymphocytopenia, basophilic disorders, and monocyte disorders.
The symptoms that a child will suffer from will depend upon the specific white blood cell disorder in the body.
Some of the common symptoms that are associated with not having enough white blood cells, or having white blood cells that do not function correctly, include:
Some white blood cell disorders will also have unique symptoms, and that will help a doctor pinpoint the problem and provide the correct treatment plan.
Treatment will depend upon the underlying cause of the disorder, as well as the severity of it. For example, antibiotics can be used to fight an infection, while stem cell transplant might be necessary for a severe congenital disease.