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August 2007

A Pediatric Otolaryngologist Learns to Diagnose Acute Otitis Media

Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2007;133(8):745-746. doi:10.1001/archotol.133.8.745

Our family takes pride in our outstanding eustachian tube function. None of us has ever had any ear disease at all except for rare incidental otitis media with effusion noted at well-child visits. So I was not thinking acute otitis media when I awoke one fall night to hear Melanie's soft little 4-month-old baby cough, within 2 days of the older kids' returning to school. The next day, Melanie was not herself. She felt warm to me, but her temperature was only 99.4°. I tested the ear thermometer on myself to be sure it was working. At soccer practice, I saw my friend Liz, a pediatrician in her former life before she became a geneticist, who asked, “Are you sure Melanie doesn't have an ear infection?” Good point.

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