Neonatal mastitis: controversies in management.

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OBJECTIVETo document the range of presentations, extent of investigations, and treatment choices of 'physicians treating' neonates with mastitis seen over a 9-year period at a tertiary care pediatric hospital.METHODSAn email survey was sent to Emergency Department (ED) staff and fellows asking them how they would treat a well-looking neonate with localized mastitis. Secondly, a retrospective chart review of neonates presenting to the ED with a diagnosis of neonatal mastitis or breast engorgement from July 2000 to December 2009 was conducted to assess how such patients were actually treated.RESULTS46/107 surveys were returned, with a wide discrepancy in how clinicians would treat neonatal mastitis: 4.3% would perform a full sepsis work up, including lumbar puncture, followed by IV antibiotics and hospital admission; 28% chose discharge on oral antibiotics; and 28% suggested admission only if blood work was abnormal. From the chart review, 33 neonates were diagnosed with possible neonatal mastitis over a 9-year period: 12 met the inclusion criteria. Of these, 8 (66%) were admitted and treated with intravenous antibiotics, 2 (16.6%) were treated with oral antibiotics, and 2 (16.6%) did not receive antibiotics. None of the 12 patients had lumbar puncture performed.CONCLUSIONSThere is significant disagreement among clinicians regarding the best way to treat the well-looking neonate with localized mastitis. Most elect to perform blood tests and start treatment with IV antibiotics with good Staphylococcus aureus coverage, followed by oral antibiotics if cultures are negative.

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