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close this bookMinor Surgical Procedures in Remote Areas (MSF, 1989, 172 p.)
close this folderChapter 4: ent procedures
View the documentEpistaxis
View the documentEar drainage
View the documentDental extraction

Ear drainage

Incision of the tympanic membrane.


Acute otitis with fever, intense pain, and an inflamed distended non-perforated tympanic membrane.


Drainage needle

Otoscope with a light or a speculum with a head-light.


Figures 71, 72

While viewing the membrane, and without anesthesia, make a radial incision in the posterior-inferior quadrant with a stylet or a special lancet.

Aspirate the pus with a soft catheter, gently removing the serous fluid and pack gently with cotton.

Antibiotic therapy


Ampicillin if less then 5 years of age: 100 mg/kg/day PO x 3 -10 days

Phenoxymethyl penicillin / Penicillin V older than 5 years of age:

Adult : 3 x 2 tablets/day (tablets of 400.000 U)
Child : 50 to 100.000 U/kg/day x 5 to 10 days, or procaine penicillin or PPF


100.000 U/kg/day x 3 days, followed by penicillin V during 4 to 6 days.

Erythromycine for those allergic to betalactamines:

Adult : 1 g in 3 divided doses/day x 10 days
Child : 50 mg/kg/day in 3 divided doses/day x 10 days