To ascertain the microbiology of skin abscesses, emergency department records were reviewed to identify patients with debrided skin abscesses. Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus was isolated from 255 (67.6%) of 377 culture samples from episodes in the adult cohort and from 145 (79.7%) of 182 culture samples from episodes in the pediatric cohort. Thus, empirical use of contact precautions for patients with skin abscesses should be strongly considered.
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