SEPTICEMIA A RARE but potentially fatal compliIS cation of the transfusion of blood components.'.* Because platelets are stored at 20 to 24Â°C for up to 5 days, contaminating bacteria initially present at very low levels may multiply to extremely high level^,^ which creates the potential for overwhelming septicemia. We report a case of septicemia due t o the transfusion of platelets contaminated with Staphylococcus epidermidis. Using DNA typing techniques, we were able to demonstrate that the contaminated platelet pool was the source of infection, and that the patient had persistent bacteremia with the organism for 36 hours. Case Report A 66-year-old man was admitted for blood transfusion. The patient had a long history of myelodysplastic disorder and had required repeated transfusions of red cells and platelets. He had a history of coronary artery disease, hypertension, dietcontrolled adult onset diabetes, peptic ulcer disease, and carotid artery stenosis requiring endarterectomy. The patient's medications included prednisone (20 mg twice daily), digoxin, isosorbide, captopril, folic acid, thiamine, and ranitidine. On examination he was in no distress. He was afebrile, with a pulse of 88 and a blood pressure of 132 over 50. The remainder of the examination was unremarkable. His hemogloHis white
Transfusion – Wiley
Published: Oct 1, 1992
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