Increased incidence of head and neck abscesses in children

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Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

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.

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