Cervical epidural abscess: a rare complication of intravenous cannulation

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Epidural abscess is a rare but life threatening condition that requires early diagnosis and prompt management. We report a case of cervical epidural abscess following an intravenous cannula site infection. The organism responsible was Methicillin Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus (MRSA). Management involved surgery, prolonged antibiotics and ventilation. Despite this, there was no return of neurological function and the patient died. We review the literature on epidural abscesses unrelated to catheterisation or instrumentation of the epidural space and discuss the aetiology and clinical features of this acute medical emergency.

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