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Key points

  • The spleen plays a vital immunological role, and attempts should be made to preserve its function.

  • Overwhelming post-splenectomy sepsis is an often fast and catastrophic complication of splenectomy with mortality rates of 40–70%.

  • For patients presenting for splenectomy, a multidisciplinary team is essential for the best perioperative outcome.

  • Anaesthetists play a key role in the management and coordination of the splenic trauma patient, and should have knowledge of all treatment modalities and organizational availability and capability.

  • Splenic artery aneurysm is a rare, but important differential diagnosis in the shocked pregnant patient with abdominal pain.

Patients present for a splenectomy for a variety of reasons. Anaesthetists need to be aware of the associated implications of concurrent disease in planning...

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