The spleen is not essential to life, and it was once thought not to do much of anything.
Medicine has since learned, however; what a modestly important role the spleen does play.
Located slightly under the rib cage in the left side of the body, the spleen is an important cog in the body’s immunity machine.
Although a person can make do without one, if it’s lost to injury or disease, their chances of infection are higher, as are their chances of contracting pneumonia from a simple cold.
The bug responsible for pneumonia is just one of many significant, death causing germs that the spleen routinely filters out of the bloodstream in a healthy person.
The germ causing malaria is another.
It’s not all doom-and-gloom without this organ, though.
In an otherwise healthy adult who’s living without a spleen, the chances of dying from an infection are about the same as the odds of dying from a house accident: 1 in 30,000.