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News From the Food and Drug Administration
January 7, 2020

Ear Tubes Can Be Inserted With Local Anesthesia

JAMA. 2020;323(1):18. doi:10.1001/jama.2019.20951

A recently approved device will enable young children who need tympanostomy tubes for otitis media to have them inserted with local anesthesia in a physician’s office. Traditionally, children who needed the ear tubes underwent surgery requiring general anesthesia in a hospital or surgical center.

According to the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders, 5 of every 6 children will develop at least 1 ear infection by their third birthday. “As millions of children suffer from ear infections every year, it is important to have safe and effective treatments available to this susceptible patient population,” Jeff Shuren, MD, director of the FDA’s Center for Devices and Radiological Health, said in a statement.

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