Staphylococcus aureus-associated skin and soft tissue infections in ambulatory care

Emerg Infect Dis. 2006 Nov;12(11):1715-23. doi: 10.3201/eid1211.060190.


To describe the number and treatment of skin and soft tissue infections likely caused by Staphylococcus aureus in the United States, we analyzed data from the 1992-1994 and 2001-2003 National Ambulatory Medical Care Surveys and National Hospital Ambulatory Medical Care Surveys. Each year, data were reported by an average of 1,400 physicians, 230 outpatient departments, and 390 emergency departments for 30,000, 33,000, and 34,000 visits, respectively. During 2001-2003, the number of annual ambulatory care visits for skin and soft tissue infections was 11.6 million; the visit rate was 410.7 per 10,000 persons. During the study period, rates of overall and physician office visits did not differ; however, rates of visits to outpatient and emergency departments increased by 59% and 31%, respectively. This increase may reflect the emergence of community-acquired methicillin-resistant S. aureus infections.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Ambulatory Care*
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Multivariate Analysis
  • Soft Tissue Infections / drug therapy
  • Soft Tissue Infections / epidemiology*
  • Staphylococcal Skin Infections / drug therapy
  • Staphylococcal Skin Infections / epidemiology*
  • Time Factors