Laboratory Tests

• The WBC may or may not be elevated. In elderly patients, a drop in WBCs also can be a sign of infection. The differential should show a predominance of neutrophils if a bacterial infection is present. The presence of bands also could be an indicator of bacterial infection. Elevated lymphocytes are an indication of viral infection

• Blood urea nitrogen (BUN) and serum creatinine are needed to dose antibiotics appropriately and to minimize or prevent drug toxicity (especially in the elderly patient)

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