Using a butterfly needle to manage otitis externa

CLEANING out the ears of squirming children with otitis externa can be tricky. 

Dr Sarah Larkins, of Townsville, uses the decapitated tubing of a butterfly needle attached to a 50ml syringe. The soft tubing avoids unintentional tympanostomy.

Dr Michael Rice, of Beaudesert, outside Brisbane, also uses it for otitis externa, but in adults.

With Kenacomb Otic ointment in a 2ml syringe, he advances the tubing into the ear very gently until the tip of it lies near the tympanic membrane.

When he touches the drum itself, the patient