The nurse conducts a home visit for a patient undergoing chemotherapy due to leukemia.  The health-care provider reports the patient's neutrophil count is 600/mm³. Which instruction should the nurse give the patient?

"Avoid fresh flowers and plants."

Explanation

• Neutropenia refers to a reduction in the blood neutrophil count to < 1000/mm³.

• A neutrophil count of less than 500/mm³ indicates a severe risk of infection.

• Restricting fresh, uncooked fruits and vegetables from the diet and removing flowers and plants from the room is recommended due to the risk of microbial contamination.

• Visitors with any potentially communicable disease should be screened for the presence of infection and must not be allowed near the patient.

• The patient should have a single room with positive air pressure (air pressure higher than the surrounding rooms) to prevent potentially contaminated air from entering the patient's room.

• The other options are measures to prevent bleeding in patients who are at risk.

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