Infectious diseases clinic

The postsplenectomy patient in general practice



© transurfer/
© transurfer/


Serious infectious disease complications are well recognised in patients with asplenia, and GPs can play an important role in promoting long-term health. Spleen Australia and Therapeutic Guidelines (eTG) recently updated recommendations on antibiotic prophylaxis, vaccinations and patient education, to help optimise postsplenectomy infection prevention in the post-acute care setting.

Article Extract

The spleen is the body’s largest lymphatic organ and plays a pivotal role in fighting infection by removing micro-organisms from the blood and producing lymphocytes.1-4 Patients with impaired splenic function or asplenia after splenectomy have a lifelong increased infection risk.1,5,6 GPs have an important role in promoting the long-term health of their patients with asplenia or hyposplenia. This article discusses recently updated recommendations on investigations, vaccinations, antibiotic prophylaxis and education for these patients.