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 can tell him