- Children with community-acquired serious otolaryngologic infections are conventionally hospitalized for parenteral antibiotic therapy. However, effective and safe outpatient therapy is desirable since it is less traumatic and less costly. During a 24-month period outpatient parenteral antibiotic therapy, usually once daily i.m. ceftriaxone, was evaluated in 41 children with serious otolaryngologic infections (acute mastoiditis, complicated otitis media, severe external otitis and severe sinusitis with orbital or periorbital involvement). Daily visits and compliant capable parents were considered essential for outpatient management. Diagnosis, plan for management and daily follow-up evaluations were carried out in cooperation by otolaryngology and infectious disease specialists. Nineteen children (45%) were treated initially in the hospital and 22 children (55%) were treated entirely as outpatients. The mean duration of outpatient treatment, using once daily i.m. ceftriaxone was 5.7 days (range 1-13). The overall clinical cure rate was 98% and no serious side effects were observed. One case of sinusitis-orbital cellulitis relapsed during therapy. Most patients and parents returned to normal life activities within 72 h from starting outpatient therapy. Our data suggest that many children with serious otolaryngologic infections can be managed successfully and safely as outpatients by a combined team of otolaryngology and infectious disease specialists.