Early blood exchange transfusion in malignant pertussis: a case report

Pediatr Crit Care Med. 2011 Mar;12(2):e107-9. doi: 10.1097/PCC.0b013e3181f3a189.


Objective: To report early blood exchange transfusion in malignant pertussis and a favorable clinical outcome.

Setting: A pediatric intensive care unit in a tertiary hospital in Geneva, Switzerland.

Design: A descriptive case report.

Patient: An 8-wk-old girl was diagnosed with malignant pertussis (extreme leukocytosis, seizures, pneumonia, and secondary severe hypoxic respiratory failure associated with pulmonary hypertension). After administration of a one-volume blood exchange transfusion, a rapid decrease in white blood cell count (from 119,000/mm(3) to 36,500/mm(3)) was observed and followed by clinical improvement and favorable outcome despite the initial presence of all described risk factors associated with a high mortality.

Conclusion: The use of exchange blood transfusion early in the course of the disease might help to prevent a fatal outcome of malignant pertussis.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Blood Transfusion / methods*
  • Bordetella pertussis / isolation & purification*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Leukocytosis / blood
  • Leukocytosis / physiopathology
  • Severity of Illness Index*
  • Switzerland
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Whooping Cough / physiopathology
  • Whooping Cough / therapy*