To the Editor: The lack of a functioning spleen is associated with a lifelong risk of overwhelming post-splenectomy infection (OPSI). Historically, mortality rates associated with OPSI have been in excess of 50%.1-3 OPSI is a preventable illness through vaccination, education, prophylactic antibiotic use and other measures, as summarised in the national Australasian Society for Infectious Diseases (ASID)-endorsed guidelines for prevention of sepsis in asplenic and hyposplenic patients.4
- 1. Lynch AM, Kapila R. Overwhelming postsplenectomy infection. Infect Dis Clin North Am 1996; 10: 693-707.
- 2. Davidson RN, Wall RA. Prevention and management of infections in patients without a spleen. Clin Microbiol Infect 2001; 7: 657-660.
- 3. Evans DI. Postsplenectomy sepsis 10 years or more after operation. J Clin Pathol 1985; 38: 309-311.
- 4. Spelman D, Buttery J, Daley A, et al. Guidelines for the prevention of sepsis in asplenic and hyposplenic patients. Intern Med J 2008; 38: 349-356.
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