A thrombocytopenic, leukopenic patient with multiple myeloma who was given 7 units of platelets died 6 days later from complications of Salmonella heidelberg septicemia. A platelet donor who was asymptomatic at the time of donation had group B Salmonella on stool culture. His clinical history and the results of serologic studies and stool culture were consistent with a mild Salmonella gastroenteritis 5 days before donation. Antibiotic sensitivity patterns and plasmid profiles indicated that the organism (S. heidelberg) isolated from the donor's stool was identical to that isolated from the patient's blood and from the platelet bags. It is believed that low‐grade, asymptomatic bacteremia in the donor was the source of infection in the recipient. Food and Drug Administration records contain reports of six septic deaths due to platelet transfusions since 1979, compared with none in the preceding 4 years. Increased use of platelet products and the standard practice of storage at room temperature may contribute to the risk of sepsis after platelet transfusion, particularly in immunocompromised patients.
Transfusion – Wiley
Published: Jan 2, 1987
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