Article Text

  1. J. Balachandran1,
  2. D. Anandacoomaraswamy1,
  3. N. Paul1,
  4. S. Sinnapunayagam1
  1. 1Coney Island Hospital, Brooklyn, NY.


Objective To determine whether white blood cell count (WBC) has any influence on the number of days a patient spends in a community hospital irrespective of the diagnosis.

Background Leucocytosis in adults is defined as total WBC count more than 2 SD above the mean, or a value greater than 11,000/μL. Leukocytosis of varying degrees can be seen in variety of clinical settings. Although the most commonly encountered high WBC is in connection with some type of infections or inflammation, it can also be seen in association with stress, medications (corticosteroids), and leukemias. The most common form of leukocytosis is the neutrophilia. This is defined as total WBC of more than 11,000/μL and an absolute neutrophil count of more than 7,700/μL. Since leukocytosis is seen in a variety of conditions, this study was designed to evaluate the impact of high total WBC on the length hospital stay of adult patients.

Method Age, sex, WBC, and number of days each patient spends in hospital were collected by a retrospective chart review of inpatients over a period of 1 month. A total of 108 charts were reviewed, of which 57 were females (53.2%) and 50 were males (46.7%). The age ranged from 28 years to 99 years, with a mean of 72.5. The predominant cause of high WBC was infection (n = 86, 79.6%) and others included steroid use, myocardial infarction, deep vein thrombosis, and malignancy. Regression analysis was carried out to test the statistical significance of the influence of WBC and age on hospital stay. The results showed that WBC correlated with the hospital stay in days with a p value of less than .05 but the age did not (p = .523).

Conclusion The duration of hospital stay is influenced by high WBC irrespective of diagnosis, whereas age does not have any influence.

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