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 medication to help him or her
relax. Or, a doctor or nurse may apply medication 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.
Because bottle-fed babies are more likely to get ear infections, it is better to breast feed your infant for the first six to 12 months of life, if possible, to prevent ear infections.
Remove as many environmental pollutants from your home as you can, including:
Cleaning fluid and solvents
Also, reduce yours or your child's exposure to people with colds, and control allergies.
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
medications for ear pain.
To collect fluid for testing and/or to
drain fluid when a child is severely ill from an ear infection (acute otitis
media) or when antibiotics have not cleared up the infection.
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