To describe increasing incidence and changing microbiology of head and neck abscesses in children admitted to the hospital during the first quarters of 2000 through 2003.STUDY DESIGN AND SETTING:
Retrospective data warehouse review identified 89 children less than 19 years of age admitted to a tertiary care pediatric hospital during the first quarters of 2000 through 2003 for suspicion of head and neck abscess involving the neck, face, and peritonsillar, retropharyngeal, and parapharyngeal spaces; and for orbital and intracranial complications of acute sinusitis.OUTCOME MEASURES:
Outcome measures included the incidence of infection admissions and description of infection location and microbiology, calculated by χ2 technique.RESULTS:
The incidence of infections increased in 2003. The greatest increase was in neck abscesses and complications of acute sinusitis.CONCLUSIONS:
The increase in group A strep infections may be related to its biologic properties.SIGNIFICANCE:
Group A strep remains a significant cause of head and neck infections in children.