Empyema in children: a review of fifty-two cases
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A prospective study was undertaken to assess the clinical pattern, management and outcome in children admitted with empyema at Harare Hospital. Fifty-two children were seen and followed up during the three-year period, 1984-1987. All patients were managed with intrapleural drain and antibiotics. Two needed decortication. The predominant pathogen isolated from the pleural cavity was Staphylococus aureus. All survived and on follow up only one child was found to have persistent radiological abnormality and poor exercise tolerance. Early intrapleural drainage and appropriate antibiotics should be the mainstay of treatment for empyema for the majority of children in Zimbabwe.