DOI: 10.1093/bjs/znad258.135 ISSN:

699 Audit of Post-Splenectomy Patients in Primary Care

L Allen, D Kerley
  • Surgery



To describe the demographics of a large general practices post-splenectomy patient population (including sex, age, and indication for splenectomy), and audit of cohort's care against national immunisation and antibiotic prophylaxis guidelines.


All adult patients registered with the practice who had undergone surgical splenectomy were included. Included patients’ medical records were reviewed and data including sex; age; date and indication of splenectomy; immunisation history; and drug history were collected.


Fifteen of approximately 13,000 registered patients were coded for having previously undergone surgical splenectomy. The main indications included trauma; haematological disease; major intra-abdominal resection. Patient cohort were of an older patient population (mean age 69) having undergone splenectomy several years previously (mean 39 years ago). Three patients had outstanding pneumococcal vaccine in the past five years, however there was 100% compliance with annual influenza vaccine. All patients had received a minimum of two COVID vaccinations. Variation in prescribed phenoxymethylpenicillin dose, with two patients on incorrect antibiotic prophylaxis, and four patients without antibiotic prophylaxis.


Despite our small patient cohort, this audit highlighted variation and deficiencies in patient care, and has led to a recall of patients with outstanding pneumococcal vaccination and review of antibiotic prophylaxis offered to patients. Additionally, there is no national recommendation that post-splenectomy patients should be offered an annual COVID booster. We recommend that this is reviewed urgently by public health officials due to an increased risk of secondary pneumococcal infection with COVID infection, which may be life-threatening.

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