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October 1960

Positional Otitis Media

Author Affiliations

Wellington, N.Z.

Arch Otolaryngol. 1960;72(4):454-463. doi:10.1001/archotol.1960.00740010464006

A supine position of an infant while bottle feeding is a predisposing factor in inflammations of the middle ear cleft. The condition is occasionally observed in elderly sick patients who require feeding by hand while lying in a supine position, but it is relatively common in infants and sucklings.

A search of the literature discloses no similar series of patients but references to the problem are found as general statements in text books,1-5 in papers on the subject of infantile diarrhea and ear infections,6,7 and on the subject of teething and otitis media.1 Wilson5 is aware of the problem when discussing the Eustachian tube and simple acute suppurative otitis media in infants and says "this is not a fanciful explanation because numerous observers have found milk in the mastoid antrum at operation." Similar findings at autopsy are reported in papers8 on infantile diarrhea and ear