The extreme rarity of mediastinal abscess is considered sufficient reason to report the following case.
In a review of the admissions to the Royal Victoria Hospital for the past fifteen years, only 2 cases of mediastinal abscess were found recorded in the surgical wards. This is the first time the complication followed tonsillectomy and a definite diagnosis was made by means of the roentgen apparatus.
The patient had been carefully examined just prior to admission to the hospital and again on admission. Nothing abnormal was found on either occasion, except that on the morning of the operation the patient complained of a slight cold in the head. This was not deemed severe enough to warrant postponing the operation, as the temperature was normal. The only significant factor in the history was that she occasionally complained of an indefinite pain beneath the sternum and in the lower dorsal region.
TREMBLE GE, HEWITT P. MEDIASTINAL ABSCESS FOLLOWING TONSILLECTOMY. Arch Otolaryngol. 1938;28(5):768–770. doi:10.1001/archotol.1938.00650040780005
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