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Keywords:

  • abscess;
  • furuncle;
  • cellulitis;
  • emergency

Abstract

Objectives

To describe the culture results of cutaneous infections affecting otherwise healthy children presenting to two pediatric emergency departments (EDs) in the southeastern United States and southern California.

Methods

Medical records of 920 children who presented to the pediatric EDs with skin infections and abscesses (International Classification of Diseases, Ninth Revision codes 680.0–686.9) during 2003 were reviewed. Chronically ill children with previously described risk factors for community-associated methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (CA-MRSA) were excluded. Data abstracted included the type of infection; the site of infection; and, if a culture was obtained, the organism grown, along with their corresponding sensitivities.

Results

Of the 270 children who had bacterial cultures obtained, 60 (22%) were CA-MRSA–positive cultures, most cultured from abscesses (80%). Of all abscesses cultured, CA-MRSA grew in more than half (53%). All CA-MRSA isolates tested were sensitive to vancomycin, trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole, rifampin, and gentamicin. One isolate at each center was resistant to clindamycin. The sensitivities at both institutions were similar.

Conclusions

The authors conclude that CA-MRSA is responsible for most abscesses and that the pattern of CA-MRSA infections in these geographically distant pediatric EDs is similar. These data suggest that optimal diagnostic and management strategies for CA-MRSA will likely be widely applicable if results from a larger, more collaborative study yield similar findings.