Has the number of cases of pediatric empyema increased in North-West Spain?
19 September 2007
10 April 2008
28 July 2015 (online)
Clinicians in Spain perceive an increase in the incidence of pediatric empyema. The available objective information is limited because it is a condition, for which there is no specific active epidemiological surveillance. This study aims to determine and evaluate the incidence of empyema of infectious origin, especially pneumococcal empyema, among children in Galicia (North-West of Spain). A retrospective search of all pediatrics cases of empyema from 1996 to present (May 2006) in Galicia (North-West of Spain) was performed using the official hospital admissions database. A total of 165 patients were identified, showing an increase in the incidence of empyema (1.02 cases/100,000 children in 1996 to 7.35 cases/100,000 children in 2005) and a decrease in the mean age of the patients affected [(7.25 (6.3) years in 1996 to 3.7 (3) in 2005]. This increase in the incidence of empyema started before the antipneumococcal vaccine became available and the reason for it remains unknown. This situation would justify the establishment of prospective systems for the surveillance and control of empyema.