A 13 year old boy has a 3 day history of low-grade fever, upper respiratory symptoms, and a sore throat.

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A few hours before his presentation to the emergency room, he has an abrupt onset of high fever, difficulty swallowing, and poor handling of his secretions. He indicates that he has a marked worsening in the severity of his sore throat. His pharynx has a fluctuant bulge in the posterior wall.

Which of the following is the most appropriate initial therapy for this patient?

  1. Narcotics Analgesics
  2. Trial of Oral Penicillin V
  3. Surgical consultation for incision and drainage under general anesthesia
  4. Rapid Streptococcal screen
  5. Monospot test

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2 Answers

Best answer

The correct answer is "3. Surgical consultation for incision and drainage under general anesthesia"

Suppurative infection of the chain of lymph nodes between the posterior pharyngeal wall and the prevertebral fascia leads to retropharyngeal abscesses. The most common causative organisms are Staphylococcus aureus, group A ß-hemolytic streptococci, and oral anaerobes. Presenting signs and symptoms include a history of pharyngitis, abrupt onset of fever with severe sore throat, refusal of food, drooling, and muffled or noisy breathing. A bulge in the posterior pharyngeal wall is diagnostic, as are radiographs of the lateral neck that reveal the retropharyngeal mass. Palpation (with adequate provision for emergency control of the airway in case of rupture) reveals a fluctuant mass. Treatment should include incision and drainage if fluctuance is present.

answered Jun 3, 2012 by admin Doctor of Medicine (10,059 points)
selected Jun 14, 2015 by admin
Rapid Streptococcal screen
answered Jun 2, 2012 by neha Pre-med (60 points)