Acute suppurative pneumonias have long been recognized as a problem of major importance to the pediatrician. This type of pulmonary disease finds its greatest incidence and mortality in infants and young children. Although its over-all incidence is estimated1 to account for less than 10% of all childhood pneumonias, it probably causes more deaths than other forms of inflammatory reaction in the lungs. In a series of cases reported by Watkins2 and associates in 1948, the mortality was 57% for children of all ages and 100% for infants.
The greater morbidity of suppurative pneumonia is attributable to the overwhelming toxicity, the tendency to form pulmonary abscesses, the pleural complications, and metastatic phenomena. In spite of the effective control of pneumonic infections by antibiotics, however, a relatively high mortality from suppurative pneumonias continues. Since the development of penicillin, the mortality rates have been reported as reduced to 33% for children