First, let us consider parotitis. During the period 1943 to 1960 we have observed 45 patients with suppurative parotitis in the Massachusetts General Hospital. These few remarks will summarize this experience.
Forty-three of these cases of parotitis occurred after operations. One occurred in a patient with extensive cancer, and another in one with perforated diverticulitis. Thus, the disease is nearly always a postoperative complication; it is abetted by debility, dehydration, and generalized sepsis. It is difficult to decide which organisms are involved since only rarely has incision and drainage been necessary, and drainage from Stenson's duct that can be cultured is not seen frequently. However, Staphylococcus aureus has been the organism that has been recovered most often.
Parotitis formerly was regarded as a highly fatal complication, carrying a mortality of 30% to 50%. It is now fair to say that while parotitis may be present at the time of death,