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Burden of facial cellulitis: estimates from the Nationwide Emergency Department Sample.

OBJECTIVE: Multitude of maxillofacial infections from odontogenic and nonodontogenic origins can progress to facial cellulitis, which may require an emergency department (ED) visit for appropriate care. The aim of this study was to investigate national prevalence of ED visits attributed primarily to facial cellulitis, to quantify the associated hospital charges, and to identify a cohort of population presenting to the ED with facial cellulitis. STUDY DESIGN: The Nationwide Emergency Department Sample (NEDS) for the year 2007, a component database of the health care cost and utilization project was used for this study. All ED visits that had a primary diagnosis of facial cellulitis (ICD-9-CM code 682.0) were selected for analysis. All estimates were projected to national levels using the discharge weight variables. RESULTS: In 2007, a total of 302,507 ED visits were attributed primarily to facial cellulitis in the USA. The average age of the patients was 35.0 years. The mean hospital charge for each ED visit was $1,024, with a total charge of $241,541,694. A total of 17.8% of ED visits were admitted into the same hospital for inpatient care, and 78.5% of ED visits were discharged routinely; 67.6% of ED visits occurred on weekdays. Private insurance payers comprised the largest proportion (31.6%). CONCLUSIONS: This study highlights the prevalence of hospital-based ED visits primarily due to facial cellulitis in the USA in year 2007, its significant associated hospital resource utilization for treatment, and characteristics of the patient population who are likely to visit a hospital-based ED for treatment of facial cellulitis.

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