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March 1929


Author Affiliations

From the Oto-Laryngological Department of Beth Israel Hospital.

Arch Otolaryngol. 1929;9(3):251-255. doi:10.1001/archotol.1929.00620030269003

In the treatment for acute otitis media, prompt paracentesis of the drum-head is essential in order to produce adequate drainage and to ward off a possible involvement of the mastoid. This should be done with the patient under general anesthesia, preferably ethyl chloride, and a wide incision should be made in the postero-inferior quadrant of the drum. This procedure will keep the incision open as long as there is pus in the middle ear. Repeated incisions of the drum are not only unnecessary, but harmful, as the subsequent scarring and adhesions result in disturbed hearing during later life.

Many otologists use suction after paracentesis in an effort to free the middle ear from pus. In this way, an attempt is made to shorten the period of discharge and to prevent the development of mastoiditis. While this method of withdrawing pus into the suction tube is spectacular and gratifying to the