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Case Reports
December 1939


Author Affiliations

From the Section on Laryngology, Oral and Plastic Surgery, the Mayo Clinic.

Am J Dis Child. 1939;58(6):1256-1258. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1939.01990110120008

A rare but often fatal complication of retropharyngeal abscess is hemorrhage due to erosion of the carotid artery or of one of its large branches. In the course of my training in otolaryngology a child aged 6 years was brought into the hospital on account of bleeding from the nose. She had been in poor health for two months. The lymph nodes on both sides of the neck had been enlarged for two weeks. Bleeding from the nose had been noted for the preceding twenty-four hours. A mass having a granular appearance was present in the nasopharynx. The leukocyte count was very high, and there were many immature cells. Consultants differed as to whether the condition was retropharyngeal abscess, malignant tumor or blood dyscrasia. Shortly after her admission to the hospital the child died of sudden profuse hemorrhage. At necropsy a small abscess high on the posterior pharyngeal wall was