Tympanocentesis is the removal of fluid from behind the eardrum.
The doctor uses a special needle with a tube attached to collect the sample of
culture and sensitivity test is usually done on the
sample of fluid.
Before the test, your child may get medicine to help him or her
relax. Or a doctor or nurse may apply medicine directly to the eardrum to
numb the area. If there is a lot of earwax, it is removed from the ear before
the test begins.
If you or your child has an earache that is accompanied (in some cases) by a stuffy or runny nose and a sore throat and fever, it is likely that the ear pain is due to an ear infection.
Your doctor will examine the eardrum with an instrument called an otoscope for signs of infection -- not an easy task if the patient is a fussy infant. The doctor may also check for blockage or filling of the middle ear using a pneumatic otoscope, which blows a little air at the eardrum. This air should cause the...
an ear infection is suspected in a newborn or in a child with an
impaired immune system, or when a person is suspected
of having an unusual organism causing the ear infection.
treatment for a child with severe ear pain. Removal of fluid from behind the
eardrum relieves pressure in the ear, easing pain. This may work better than
medicines for ear pain.
In most cases, doing a
culture and sensitivity test on fluid collected by
tympanocentesis can identify the bacteria causing the infection. This helps the
doctor prescribe an antibiotic that is more likely to work. Sometimes no
bacteria are found in the fluid.
What To Think About
The child has to stay very still during the procedure.
Tympanocentesis does not prevent repeated ear infections (recurrent