A medical audit was conducted in 1997 of hospital records of women attending the emergency department of the Royal Women's Hospital in Melbourne, Australia, in 1996 with a diagnosis of "mastitis." One hundred and seven women were diagnosed with mastitis; approximately half were primiparous (53%) and the median age of the baby was 14 days. Most women (69%) attended the emergency department after normal working hours. Thirty-nine percent of the women were afebrile, and only 27% had a temperature of 38.5C or higher. The majority of women were prescribed flucloxacillin. Milk culture was obtained in only 15 cases, and Staphylococcus aureus was the most common pathogen.