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OTORINOLARINGOLOGIA

A Journal on Otorhinolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgery,
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Otorinolaringologia 2007 June;57(2):91-8

language: English

Otolaryngologic emergencies in children: head and neck infections

Mehta D., Myer III C.

Division of Pediatric Otolaryngology/Head and Neck Surgery Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center Cincinnati, Ohio USA


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Antibiotic therapy has decreased the incidence of potentially life-threatening infections of the head and neck. In recent years this therapeutic approach has begun to play an extended role in the management of small abscesses, thereby avoiding incision and drainage. With the advent of vaccines, bacteria such as Haemophilus influenzae b that historically caused epiglottitis are seen much less often, thus dramatically altering the incidence and clinical profile of this condition. Despite these positive contributions, clinicians are increasingly being faced with organisms that are resistant to antibiotics previously found to be effective. These combined factors have created a clinical dilemma as to ideal management. This review presents a brief overview of the literature pertaining to the incidence and management of a number of emergent pediatric head and neck infections, highlighting current trends and controversies.

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