Volume 22, Issue 3 (July 1977)
Splenectomy and Sudden Death
Splenectomy has become a relatively common surgical procedure, most frequently performed subsequent to traumatic rupture, incidentally in the course of other surgical procedures, or in the staging or therapy of lymphomas. Occasionally it is a therapeutic modality in a hematologic disorder. Although initially considered to be associated with few serious sequelae, the recent medical literature contains numerous reports of fulminant death from bacteremia (usually Streptococcus pneumoniae) in splenectomized or hyposplenic patients. The following case reports exemplify some aspects of this clinical syndrome.