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Retropharyngeal Abscess


Step 1: View clinicals

A 7 year old boy presents with fever, dysphagia, odynophagia, and painful neck movements for 1 day. His surgical history is significant for impaction of a fish bone in the throat 3 weeks ago, with removal 4 days later. He appeared to recover completely afterwards. His medical and family histories are unremarkable.

Step 2: Order all relevant investigations

Full Blood Count

WBC: 17,200/mm3 (4,600-11,000) N: 75% L: 23% Hb: 12.2 g/dl (11-18.5) Plt: 218,000/mm3 (150,000-450,000)


The C-Reactive Protein level is 200 microg/l (normal < 6)

X-Ray Neck, Soft Tissue View

The soft-tissue view X-ray of the neck shows widening of the retropharyngeal space.

Throat swab + culture

Culture reports will be available in 3 days.

Step 3: Select appropriate management

Intubation stat
IV Antibiotics
Nil Orally

Score: ★★☆