Q&A: Absence of a spleen
I am 31 years old and 36 weeks pregnant with my first baby and do not have a spleen. A taxi hit me 16 years ago which caused it to rupture. I've been scheduled for a C-section because my back is also damaged. My baby and I are healthy but I'm scared of gettig an infection or some other complication due to not having a spleen.

Dr Bronwyn Moore (gynaecologist) answers:

Asplenism, or the absence of a spleen, is associated with an increased risk of certain bacterial infections. Fortunately the use of prophylactic, or preventative, antibiotcs is very protective. Just make sure to remind your gynae and tell the anaesthetist at the time of your caesar so that they can give you antibiotic cover. After delivery remember to keep your vaccinations up to date and you and those around you should have the yearly flu vaccine.

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