Journal Article

A 5-year PICU Experience of Disseminated Staphylococcal Disease, Part 1: Clinical and Microbial Profile

Arun K. Baranwal, Sunit C. Singhi and M. Jayashree

in Journal of Tropical Pediatrics

Volume 53, issue 4, pages 245-251
Published in print August 2007 | ISSN: 0142-6338
Published online May 2007 | e-ISSN: 1465-3664 | DOI:
A 5-year PICU Experience of Disseminated Staphylococcal Disease, Part 1: Clinical and Microbial Profile

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Staphylococcus aureus causes an impressive spectrum of disease in tropics and subtropics. Scanty data are available regarding disseminated staphylococcal disease (DSD) in children, especially on their critical care needs. It is important to recognize and prioritize patients who may benefit most from Pediatric Critical Care. The objective of this article is to review the demographic, clinical and microbial features, critical care needs, management and outcome of patients with DSD to identify clinical indicators for need of critical care. The study setting is a Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) of an urban tertiary care teaching hospital in a developing economy. The subjects were fifty-three patients (age, 1 month–12 years) with DSD admitted to PICU during June 1994–June 1999. DSD was defined as involvement of at least two distant organs with presence of Gram-positive cocci in clusters and/or growth of S. aureus from at least one normally sterile body fluid. Data regarding demographic and clinical picture, microbiological profile, indication for PICU admission, monitoring needs, medical and surgical management and outcome was retrieved from the case records. Patients had mean age of 5.1 years (± 3.4) (range, 1.5 months–12 years). Majority (34/53, 64%) were malnourished, however, none had history of recurrent infections. Two-thirds presented during hot and humid months (P < 0.001). Predisposing conditions were pustules (26%), blunt trauma (15%) and injections (8%). Fever (98%) and respiratory distress (81%) were commonest presentation followed by restriction of limb mobility and altered sensorium (21/53, 40% each). On an average, 3.25 sites were involved per patient (total, 171 sites). Twelve (9%) sites were detected after 7 days of hospitalization. Disease spectrum included necrotizing soft tissue disease (61%), pleuro-pulmonary disease (89%), pericardial effusion (40%), osteo-articular disease (30%) and meningitis (17%). Forty patients (76%) developed growth of methicillin sensitive S. aureus (MSSA) and four grew methicillin resistant S. aureus (MRSA). Hematological spread from benign skin lesions may lead to fulminant disseminated disease. Identifying metastatic foci by thorough clinical evaluation, appropriate and frequent imaging studies form an integral part of management.

Keywords: disseminated staphylococcal disease; Staphylococcus aureus; clinical profile; children

Journal Article.  4031 words. 

Subjects: Paediatrics

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