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Management of skin abscesses by primary care pediatricians.

BACKGROUND: Staphylococcus aureus is a common cause of skin abscesses.

OBJECTIVE: To evaluate primary care pediatricians' management of skin abscesses.

METHODS: A national mail survey of a random sample of 385 general pediatricians conducted from April to June 2010.

RESULTS: The response rate was 49%. Most respondents (72%) were aware that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has recommendations for the management of soft tissue infections. Only 10% reported that no one in their practice could perform incision and drainage an uncomplicated abscess. Approximately one third (34%) reported that it is too time consuming to do so. About half (55%) were interested in further training in abscess management.

CONCLUSION: Although most primary care pediatric practices are prepared to manage uncomplicated abscesses, more than half were interested in further training in the management of this condition. A comprehensive training program of skin infections could not only improve abscess management but also decrease barriers related to such care.

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