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Ear infections and mastoiditis.

Question: Does delayed antibiotic treatment for ear infections increase the chances of developing acute mastoiditis resulting in hospitalization?

The Study: Researchers evaluated the records of 512 children zero to fourteen years old who were admitted to the hospital for severe acute mastoiditis--an infection in the air cells behind the ears. They found that 216 of the children had a history of a recent ear infection.

The Results: Three-fourths of the children with the history of an ear infection had been treated with antibiotics and the remainder had a delayed treatment (waiting a couple of days and then starting antibiotics if there was no improvement). The children who had immediate antibiotic treatment were twice as likely to have complications and three times as likely to require surgery as the children who had delayed treatment for their ear infection.

Comment: Many doctors now advocate the delay in deciding to use antibiotics when treating children over six months old who have a non-severe illness with no risk factors for complications or history of recurrent ear infections. This study supports the hypothesis that delayed treatment doesn't increase the risk of developing severe mastoiditis or its complications.

Read More: The Pediatric Infectious Disease Journal, 11/15

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Title Annotation:In the Literature
Publication:Pediatrics for Parents
Article Type:Brief article
Date:Sep 1, 2014
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