An ear drainage culture is a laboratory test to check for infection-causing substances in a sample of fluid, pus, wax, or blood from the ear.
See also: Ear drainage
Culture - ear drainage
How the test is performed
A sample of ear drainage is needed. Your health care provider will use a cotton swab to collect the sample from inside the outer ear canal. In some cases, a sample is collected from the middle ear during ear surgery.
The sample is sent to a laboratory and placed on a special dish (culture media).
The lab team checks the dish every day to see if bacteria, fungi, or viruses have grown. Further tests may be done to specifically identify any substances and determine the best treatment.
How to prepare for the test
No preparation is needed for a lab culture.
How the test will feel
No pain is associated with using a cotton swab to take a sample of drainage from the outer ear. However, ear pai...
First Aid Follow the steps below, depending on the type of ear emergency. OBJECT IN THE EAR Calm and reassure the person. If the object is sticking out and easy to remove, gently remove it by hand or with tweezers. Then, get medical help to make sure the entire object was removed. If you think a small object may be lodged within the ear, but you cannot see it, DO NOT reach inside the ear canal with tweezers. You can do more harm than good. Try using gravity to get the object out by tilting the head to the affected side. DO NOT strike the person's head. Shake it gently in the direction of the ground to try to dislodge the object. If the object doesn't come out, get medical help. INSECT IN THE EAR DO NOT let the person put a finger in the ear, since this may make the insect sting. Turn the person's head so that the affected side is up, and wait to see if the insect flies or crawls out. If this doesn't work, try pouring mineral oil, olive oil, or baby oil into the ear. As you pour the oil, pull the...
Surgery Tympanostomy (with Myringotomy) A tympanostomy involves the insertion of tubes to allow fluid to drain from the middle ear. The procedure involves: A general anesthetic (asleep, no pain). Children typically recover completely within a few hours. Myringotomy (removal of fluid) is performed first. After myringotomy, the doctor inserts a tube to allow continuous drainage of the fluid from the middle ear.
Click the icon to see an illustrated series detailing ear tube insertion. Postoperative Effects. Tympanostomy is a simple procedure, and the child almost never has to spend the night in the hospital. Acetaminophen (Tylenol, generic) or ibuprofen (Advil, generic) is sufficient for any postoperative pain in most children. Some children, however, may need codeine or other powerful pain relievers. Generally, the tubes stay in the eardrum for at least several months before coming out on their own. On rare occasions, they will need to be surgically removed. Complications. Otorrhea, drainage o...
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