Dr Dave Maplesden works with Waikato practices and supports the PHO network through his special interest in quality of care.
Dr Maplesden had a colleage recently report a case where an elderly lady, who had had a splenectomy in her
twenties, presented with mild flu-like symptoms, then died within 24-hours from pneumococcal
sepsis. The patient never had the currently recommended post-splenectomy vaccination
regime. Patients with a history of splenectomy or other functional asplenia are at increased risk of
overwhelming sepsis from some bacterial infections, particularly streptococcus pneumoniae, haemophilus influenzae, and meningococcus. There may be some value in auditing your patients with a coded history of splenectomy (even in the
distant past) to ensure there are appropriately vaccinated.
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