Infections Related To Compromised Immunity

A compromised immune system means that your body does not have the ability to defend against illness or medical challenges. If you have heart disease, diabetes, cancer or any chronic illness, or if you have an acute illness that seems to last for a long period of time, your immune system may be considered compromised.

Immunocompromised patients are susceptible to bacterial, fungal and viral infections that healthy immune systems usually conquer. They are also susceptible to common infections of childhood. Often, the symptoms tend to be worse.

Symptoms

Because white blood cells are compromised, normal immune responses often don’t occur. For example, swelling, redness or pus is a normal sign of skin infection, but you likely would not show these symptoms if you are immunocompromised. Fever and/or pain at the area of infection are most common symptoms of infection. One tiny bump could possibly be a sign that something is wrong.

Treatment

Infections are treated aggressively as early as possible and may require hospitalization. Bacterial infections are the cause of 85-90 percent of infections associated with new fevers. As a result, physicians will prescribe an antibiotic regimen first. This antibiotic regimen typically covers a broad spectrum to fight the wide variety of bacteria that can potentially infect these patients.

If the infection does not clear up in a few days, a regimen of antifungal drugs usually follows. It is also used when patients have been diagnosed with a fungal infection. Severely affected patients may receive replacements of white blood cells.

Patients who develop specific documented infections, such as bacteremia (bacteria in the blood), ear infections, sinusitis, pneumonia, gastrointestinal disorders, liver infections, meningitis, encephalitis, cardiovascular infections and skin infections, are treated for the specific infection.