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Empyema Due to Hemophilus Influenzae in Infants and Children

HARRIS D. RILEY JR., MD; EVERETT C. BRACKEN, PhD
Am J Dis Child. 1965;110(1):24-28. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1965.02090030030004.
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INFECTIONS due to Hemophilus influenzae, especially type b, constitute an important clinical problem in infants and children. Such infections in this age group are usually severe and are manifest most commonly as meningitis or infectious croup. Primary pneumonia, with or without empyema, is a much less common expression of infection with this organism. Although recently there has been an increase in the incidence of pneumonia and empyema due primarily to the staphylococci, the total incidence of empyema has decreased markedly with the advent of various antimicrobial agents. Moreover, at the present time, empyema due to H influenzae is extraordinarily rare. In 1955, Nyhan et al,1 stated that, of 991 cases of acute empyema in infants and children reported in the literature during the preantibiotic period, none was due to H influenzae. Between 1943 and 1958 a total of 6,508 infants and children with pneumonia were hospitalized, and of this

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