12 September 2023
The need for spleen
- MP supports raising awareness of impacts of spleen injury or removal
To coincide with World Sepsis Day on 13 September, Emily Hamilton, Member for Joondalup, is raising awareness of people in our community who lack a functioning spleen, being at higher risk of contracting life-threatening bacterial infections, including sepsis.
Sepsis is when the body’s response to an infection harms its own organs and tissues. It can lead to shock, organ failure and death if not treated promptly.
It is estimated that 2,000 Western Australians live without a spleen or with reduced splenic function.
Since 2017, Ms Hamiton has been assisting northern suburbs resident, John Burns, who lives without a spleen, to raise the issues of people who have a non-functioning spleen or have had their spleen removed.
Ms Hamilton lobbied then Minister for Health, Roger Cook MLA, to have Western Australia join the National Spleen Register.
This request has now been fulfilled, as WA Health recently awarded a grant to Spleen Australia, enabling it to expand its services to WA. Western Australians without a functioning spleen and their treating clinicians can now access free specialist education and support by registering through the spleen.org.au website or calling (03) 9076 3828.
For these people, it is important to be vaccinated against some of the bacteria that can cause severe disease, including COVID-19 and annual influenza vaccinations.
Comments attributed to Joondalup MLA Emily Hamilton:
“I’m pleased that Western Australians without a spleen or with reduced splenic function are now able to access services through Spleen Australia, given our State Government’s support to the organisation.
“By continuing to discuss these issues, my hope is that additional information is shared in our community.”