59TAB FOUR | TAKING CARE OF YOURSELF patient guide
Most infections come from germs that are normally found on your skin and in your body. Sometimes the cause of an
infection is not known. Even if you take extra care, you may still get an infection. If you have any of the following signs, call
your doctor or nurse right away!
Call your doctor or nurse if you have:
• A fever of 100.5 or greater
• Chills, especially shaking chills
• Loose bowel movements
• Frequent urgency to urinate or a burning feeling when you do
• A bad cough or sore throat
• Unusual vaginal discharge or itching
• Redness, swelling, drainage or tenderness around a wound, sore, ostomy, pimple, rectal
area or catheter site
• Sinus pain or pressure
• Earaches, headaches or stiff neck
• Blisters on the lips or skin
• Mouth sores
Thrombocytopenia (low platelet count)
Thrombocytopenia means low platelet counts. Platelets are blood cells that help stop bleeding by making your blood
clot. When you have a low platelet count you may bleed or bruise more easily. Certain types of cancer treatments such
as some chemotherapy drugs cause low platelets. Your doctor or nurse will be checking your platelet levels during your
treatments. It is very important for you to follow certain precautions when your platelet count is low to decrease the
chance of problems or injury.
Tips for preventing problems/Precautions to watch when your platelets are low:
• Use a soft toothbrush to clean your teeth.
• Use an electric shaver instead of a razor.
• Do not take aspirin or drugs with aspirin in them.
• When cleaning your nose, blow gently into a tissue.