Tertiary Hospital Over a Four-Year Period in China
Deep neck infections (DNIs) are a group of serious bacterial infections occurring in the potential spaces and fascia of the neck. The incidence of DNIs is not clear. Although many studies have shown that the incidence of DNIs has decreased due to the use of antibiotics and improvements in sanitary conditions, reports also indicate an increased incidence of DNIs in the last 10 years. Deep neck multiple-space infections (DNMIs) are the most serious among all types of DNIs and often spread further to cause mediastinal infections, invade the carotid sheath, and possibly compromise the airway, resulting in life-threatening conditions.
Treatments for DNMIs include life-supporting measures, surgical drainage, and appropriate use of antibiotics. Among these treatments, surgical drainage is key. Although traditional extensive surgical drainage is effective for treating DNMIs, some limitations remain for this approach, ie, drainage depends on gravity, the locations for the drainage tube and incision are limited, dressing changes and wound irrigation more than once a day may increase patient suffering, and secondary wound infection may occur. In recent years, vacuum-assisted closure (VAC)