ABSTRACT Purpose: Severe skin and soft tissue infections in children area common cause of hospital admission. Surgical drainage is often required for definitive therapy. Our aim was to review common characteristics of children requiring surgical incision and drainage (I&D) for subcutaneous abscesses.Methods: IRB approval was obtained for a retrospective chart review of children requiring I&D of subcutaneous abscesses between July 2006 and June 2011. Data points included patient demographics, abscess location, surgical procedure, microbiology cultures, and hospital length of stay.Results: Surgical I&Dwere performed on 1042 children, and 781 patients (75%) were admitted to the surgical service. The average age was 3.4 years. 605 patients (58%) were female. 637 abscesses (61%) were located in the groin/buttock/perineum area. Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) was identified in 70% of the culture specimens. The average length of stay was 2.8 days. The rate of recidivism was 10.9%.Conclusions: Soft tissue infections requiring hospital admission and I&D are common in the pediatric population. The vast majority of these are due to MRSA infections. Infections requiring drainage most frequently occurred in the diaper area of girls less than 3 years old. A significant number of children have recurrent skin infections and represent an important patient subpopulation.
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