Prior to the World War, the fatality rate (mortality) of empyema in infants under 2 years of age who were treated surgically was far too high. In infants under 2 years of age, fatality rates up to 66 per cent have been reported.1 The younger the patient, the higher is the rate; Holt and Howland reported that it was 71 per cent in children under 1 year of age and 59 per cent in those in their second year.2 Farr and Levine found the fatality to be four times greater during the first year than in the fourth and that it steadily declined up to 6 years of age, after which the deaths occurred relatively seldom.3 Wilensky reported a fatality of 48 per cent for the first year and 31 per cent during the second.4 Practically the same figures have been published by Poynton and Reynolds,
RIENHOFF WF, DAVISON WC. EMPYEMA IN INFANTS UNDER TWO YEARS OF AGE. Arch Surg. 1928;17(4):676–688. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1928.01140100146011
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