The diagnosis of acute bacterial parotitis usually does not cause much clinical concern due to the characteristic clinical signs and symptoms, such as pain and swelling of parotid gland associated with fever and elevated inflammatory markers in laboratory tests. Early diagnosis and accurate treatment result in fast recovery without complications. In rare cases, acute bacterial parotitis may cause severe complications, such as parotid gland abscess or parapharyngeal space phlegmon. Parapharyngeal space phlegmon is a severe, life-threatening condition. It can spread to craniofacial and neck fascial spaces, mediastinum, and lead to sepsis and septic shock. Craniofacial and neck phlegmon requires prompt surgical treatment and intensive antibiotic therapy.
In this case study, we present an 82-year-old woman with bacterial parotitis that resulted in multiple complications. The first complication was parotid gland abscess, which caused extended craniofacial and neck phlegmon that led to sepsis. As a result of immediate intensive treatment, which consisted of broad-spectrum antibiotic therapy, surgical drainage, and hydro-electrolyte imbalance management, the treatment ended in a success. The patient fully recovered and was discharged home in a good general condition.
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