Key Points for This Section
The risk of health problems that affect the immune system increases after treatment with the following:
- Surgery to remove the spleen.
- High-dose radiation therapy to the spleen.
- Stem cell transplant and graft-versus-host disease during or after treatment.
- Redness, swelling, or warmth of a part of the body.
- Pain that is in one part of the body, such as the eye, ear, or throat.
Taking daily antibiotics for at least 2 to 3 years after splenectomy or until at least 5 years of age for young children may be recommended. At the first sign of fever (temperature over 101.5°F or 38.5°C), it is important to have prompt medical care and be treated with antibiotics. Antibiotics should also be given before dental work to prevent infection.
In addition, children at risk should be vaccinated against the following:
- Pneumococcal disease (for children aged 10 years and older and more than 5 years after last dose).
- Meningococcal disease.
- Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib) disease.
Talk to your child's doctor about whether other childhood vaccinations need to be repeated.