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May 1958

Infection Following Splenectomy in Infants and ChildrenA Review of the Experience at Duke Hospital in Infants and Children During a Twenty-Two-Year Period (1933-1954)

Author Affiliations

Winston-Salem, N. C.
From the Department of Pediatrics, The Duke University School of Medicine, Durham, N. C.: Present address: The Bowman Gray School of Medicine, Winston-Salem, N. C.

AMA Am J Dis Child. 1958;95(5):477-480. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1958.02060050481003

The incidence of sepsis following splenectomy, particularly in infants, is a subject of current interest. King and Shumacher1 in 1952 reported the occurrence of meningitis in four of five infants splenectomized under 6 months of age for congenital hemolytic anemia. Smith et al.2 in 1956 reported severe infections after splenectomy in 14, or 28%, of 50 infants and children. Gruber et al.3 reported overwhelming bacteremia with death in a premature infant 14 days after splenectomy for thrombocytopenic pupura. Robinson4 reported pneumococcal meningitis in a 5-month-old infant six weeks after splenectomy for congenital hemolytic anemia. In a review of 107 splenectomies in infants and children Gofstein and Gellis5 found severe infections after operation in 4 patients. They eliminated from their series those patients whose primary disease was a factor in increased susceptibility to infection.

On the other hand, there have been many reports of successful splenectomies

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