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