The purpose of this study was to examine trama surgeons' practice patterns regarding immunization of splenic injury patients.
Data were analyzed from surgeons responding to a survey sent to 557 adult trauma surgeons in the United States and Canada. The survey queried the timing and use of vaccinations in splenic injury patients.
Three hundred four (54.6%) surgeons responded to the survey, with 43 no longer active. Of the 261 active surgeons, 99.2% immunize their splenectomized patients, whereas 15.7% immunize those who undergo splenorrhaphy and 8.4% immunize those managed nonoperatively. Vaccines are administered anywhere from the immediate postoperative period to as long as 6 weeks later. All but two responding surgeons provide the pneumococcal vaccine, 62.8% also advocate meningococcal vaccination, 72.4% add the Haemophilus influenzae vaccine, and 56.7% give all three. Thirteen of the responding surgeons reimplant splenic tissue, most frequently in the omentum, and in quantities varying from two slices to the entire spleen. Revaccination practices are extremely varied-ranging from nothing at all to annually-and seldom follow Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines.
With the exception of immunizing splenectomized patients against pneumococcal infection, little consensus exists among surgeons regarding the immunization of patients sustaining splenic injury.