FOAMcast - An Emergency Medicine Podcast

This tiny episode covers a blog entry from (University of Illinois, Chicago), who has a new series entitled “Inconceivable.” The idea is to expose medical terminology that we tend to use incorrectly. The first installment is focused on the misuse of the term "left shift," and it's the focus of this FOAMcastini.

'Left shift" refers to the presence of banded (immature) neutrophils in the blood. It does not refer to an elevated white blood cell count with a high percentage of neutrophils. An elevated white blood cell count with an abnormally high percentage of neutrophils should be called "neutrophillic leukocytosis." Only the presence of immature neutrophils in the periphery (including bands) can accurately be called a "left shift." 

We will be back shortly with regular episodes, once their schedules coincide.

Thanks for listening!

Direct download: FOAMcastini_left_shift.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:29am EST