Emergency management of pediatric skin and soft tissue infections in the community-associated methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus era.

Abstract

OBJECTIVES Skin and soft tissue infections (SSTIs) are increasing in incidence, yet there is no consensus regarding management of these infections in the era of community-associated methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (CA-MRSA). This study sought to describe current pediatric emergency physician (PEP) management of commonly presenting skin infections. METHODS This was a cross-sectional survey of subscribers to the American Academy of Pediatrics Section on Emergency Medicine (AAP SoEM) list-serv. Enrollment occurred via the list-serv over a 3-month period. Vignettes of equivocal SSTI, cellulitis, and skin abscess were presented to participants, and knowledge, diagnostic, and therapeutic approaches were assessed. RESULTS In total, 366 of 606 (60.3%) list-serv members responded. The mean (+/- standard deviation [SD]) duration of practice was 13.6 (+/-7.9) years, and 88.6% practiced in a pediatric emergency department. Most respondents (72.7%) preferred clinical diagnosis alone for equivocal SSTI, as opposed to invasive or imaging modalities. For outpatient cellulitis, PEPs selected clindamycin (30.6%), trimethoprim-sulfa (27.0%), and first-generation cephalosporins (22.7%); methicillin-sensitive S. aureus (MSSA) was routinely covered, but many regimens failed to cover CA-MRSA (32.5%) or group A streptococcus (27.0%). For skin abscesses, spontaneous discharge (67.5%) was rated the most important factor in electing to perform a drainage procedure; fever (19.9%) and patient age (13.1%) were the lowest. PEPs elected to prescribe trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole (TMP-Sx; 50.0%) or clindamycin (32.7%) after drainage; only 5% selected CA-MRSA-inactive agents. All PEPs suspected CA-MRSA as the etiology of skin abscesses, and many attributed sepsis (22.1%) and invasive pneumonia (20.5%) to CA-MRSA, as opposed to MSSA. However, 23.9% remained unaware of local CA-MRSA prevalence for even common infections. CONCLUSIONS Practice variation exists among PEPs for management of SSTI. These results can be used to measure changes in SSTI practices as standardized approaches are delineated.

DOI: 10.1111/j.1553-2712.2009.00652.x

Cite this paper

@article{Mistry2010EmergencyMO, title={Emergency management of pediatric skin and soft tissue infections in the community-associated methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus era.}, author={Rakesh Mistry and Keith Weisz and Halden F. Scott and Elizabeth R. Alpern}, journal={Academic emergency medicine : official journal of the Society for Academic Emergency Medicine}, year={2010}, volume={17 2}, pages={187-93} }