It is generally agreed that surgical incision of the tympanic membrane does no harm and a "dry tap" is more excusable than failure to provide drainage as soon as needed, but pride in diagnostic skill is always embarrassed by fruitless myringotomy and sometimes the ear starts discharging one or more days after incision, a complication suggesting that the insult to continuity of tissues and their circulation may have led to suppuration otherwise avoidable. Moreover, the sulfonamide compounds today offer a fairly rapidly effective and specific agent with which to combat the common invaders of the tympanic cavity and to abort infections which have not reached a stage requiring drainage.
Semenov,1 Fowler,2 Fenton,3 Lierle and Potter4 and Polvogt and Bordley5 have clearly demonstrated that inflammation in the middle ear differs no whit from that in the same types of tissue elsewhere and that it passes through the same stages. The stages
NELSON RF. EXACT DIAGNOSIS OF OTITIS MEDIA. Arch Otolaryngol. 1943;37(6):810–812. doi:10.1001/archotol.1943.00670030825007
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