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Otitis Media

Otitis Media is a topic covered in the 5-Minute Emergency Consult.

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  • Inflammation of the middle ear
  • Most commonly occurs in children 6–36 mo
  • Rapid onset of local and/or systemic symptoms
  • More than 1/3 of children experience >5 episodes by the age of 7 yr


  • Usually associated with (or as a result of) upper respiratory tract infections
  • Viral:
    • Parainfluenza
    • Respiratory syncytial virus
    • Influenza
    • Adenovirus
    • Rhinovirus
  • Bacterial:
    • Streptococcus pneumoniae
    • Moraxella catarrhalis
    • Haemophilus influenzae
    • Streptococcus pyogenes
    • Mycoplasma pneumoniae
  • Associated with blockage of eustachian tube
  • Predisposing factors:
    • Deficient mucus, cilia, or antibodies
    • Intubation, especially nasotracheal
    • American Indians, Eskimos
    • Down syndrome
    • Cleft palate
    • Diabetes
    • Vitamin A deficiency
    • HIV
  • Risk factors
    • Family history
    • Daycare
    • Parental smoking
    • Pacifier use
    • Bottle-feeding

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Rosen, Peter, et al., editors. "Otitis Media." 5-Minute Emergency Consult, 5th ed., Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, 2016. Emergency Central, emergency.unboundmedicine.com/emergency/view/5-Minute_Emergency_Consult/307485/all/Otitis_Media.
Otitis Media. In: Rosen P, Shayne P, Barkin AZ, et al, eds. 5-Minute Emergency Consult. 5th ed. Lippincott Williams & Wilkins; 2016. https://emergency.unboundmedicine.com/emergency/view/5-Minute_Emergency_Consult/307485/all/Otitis_Media. Accessed June 27, 2019.
Otitis Media. (2016). In Rosen, P., Shayne, P., Barkin, A. Z., Wolfe, R. E., Hayden, S. R., Barkin, R. M., & Schaider, J. J. (Eds.), 5-Minute Emergency Consult. Available from https://emergency.unboundmedicine.com/emergency/view/5-Minute_Emergency_Consult/307485/all/Otitis_Media
Otitis Media [Internet]. In: Rosen P, Shayne P, Barkin AZ, Wolfe RE, Hayden SR, Barkin RM, Schaider JJ, editors. 5-Minute Emergency Consult. Lippincott Williams & Wilkins; 2016. [cited 2019 June 27]. Available from: https://emergency.unboundmedicine.com/emergency/view/5-Minute_Emergency_Consult/307485/all/Otitis_Media.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - ELEC T1 - Otitis Media ID - 307485 ED - Rosen,Peter, ED - Shayne,Philip, ED - Barkin,Adam Z, ED - Wolfe,Richard E, ED - Hayden,Stephen R, ED - Barkin,Roger M, ED - Schaider,Jeffrey J, BT - 5-Minute Emergency Consult UR - https://emergency.unboundmedicine.com/emergency/view/5-Minute_Emergency_Consult/307485/all/Otitis_Media PB - Lippincott Williams & Wilkins ET - 5 DB - Emergency Central DP - Unbound Medicine ER -