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JAMA. 1981 May 8;245(18):1839-42.

Pneumococcal septicemia in children with sickle cell anemia. Changing trend of survival.


Streptococcus pneumoniae infection has been the predominant cause of death among children with sickle cell anemia (SS). We report our observed change in the pattern of progression of septicemia to meningitis and death in nonimmunized SS children who were not receiving prophylactic penicillin in the face of a persistently high incidence of pneumococcal disease. Of 233 SS children less than ages 6 years observed for 781 person-years, the overall incidence rate of pneumococcal septicemia was 5.9 episodes per 100 person-years. Prior to July 1972, of 23 children who had pneumococcal septicemia, eight (35%) died and meningitis developed in 15 (65%), whereas since July 1972, 11 children have had pneumococcal septicemia, but no children died and meningitis developed in only two (18%). This decrease in major morbidity is attributed to the establishment of a clinical program that provides close medical supervision of the SS child with fever and the rapid institution of parenteral antibiotic therapy.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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