Objectives: To examine the incidence of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) in pediatric neck abscesses and compare these with abscesses caused by methicillin-susceptible Staphylococcus aureus (MSSA) and other organisms (non-SA). Study Design: Retrospective review of 245 children who underwent incision and drainage of neck abscesses from January 1, 2001, to December 1, 2005. Results: The yearly incidence of MRSA increased from 9 percent to 40 percent during the study period. Abscesses in medial locations were less common in the MRSA group (P < 0.01) and MSSA group (P < 0.001) compared with the non-SA group. Average patient ages were MRSA 18.9 months, MSSA 18.7 months, and non-SA 47.6 months. Complication rates were MRSA 8 percent, MSSA 5 percent, and non-SA 5 percent. Conclusions: The incidence of MRSA in pediatric neck abscesses is increasing dramatically. MRSA and MSSA usually infect younger patients in the lateral locations. Clinical courses were similar in all groups.
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