UMEM Educational Pearls

Category: Geriatrics

Title: WBC and infection in the elderly

Keywords: leukocytosis, WBC, fever, elderly, geriatric, infection (PubMed Search)

Posted: 6/27/2010 by Amal Mattu, MD (Updated: 7/18/2024)
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The WBC count is not an accurate predictor of bacteremia in the elderly. 20-45% of elderly patients with proven bacteremia have a normal WBC on presentation.

[from Caterino JM, et al. Bacteremic elder emergency department patients: procalcitonin and white count. Acad Emerg Med 2004;11:393-396.]