Podcast #384: Don’t stab a PTA? - The Emergency Medical Minute

Author:  Don Stader, MD

Educational Pearls:


  • Recent study suggests we may not need to drain uncomplicated peritonsillar abscesses
  • Patients who received medical therapy alone had no difference in complications and failure compared to those who received surgical drainage plus medical therapy
  • Medical therapy in study was ceftriaxone, clindamycin, and dexamethasone
  • Medical therapy was also associated with fewer opioid prescriptions, sore days, and days off from work.



Battaglia A, Burchette R, Hussman J, Silver MA, Martin P, Bernstein P. Comparison of Medical Therapy Alone to Medical Therapy with Surgical Treatment of Peritonsillar Abscess. Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2018 Feb;158(2):280-286. doi: 10.1177/0194599817739277. Epub 2017 Nov 7. PubMed PMID: 29110574.


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