JOURNAL ARTICLE
REVIEW
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Pediatric external auditory canal foreign bodies: a review of 698 cases.

OBJECTIVE: The study goal was to determine the relationships between patient management factors and patient outcomes in pediatric patients with external auditory canal foreign bodies.

STUDY DESIGN AND SETTING: Retrospective analysis was conducted of 698 consecutive cases of pediatric external auditory canal foreign bodies (n = 605 patients) who presented to a tertiary care pediatric referral center during a 6-year period.

RESULTS: Emergency physicians frequently removed foreign bodies under direct visualization while otolaryngologists primarily used otomicroscopy. Both of these methods had high success rates overall (77% and 86%), but attempts under direct visualization had lower success rates with removing spherical objects, objects touching the tympanic membrane, and objects in the canal for more than 24 hours. Failed removal attempts resulted in higher complication rates.

CONCLUSION: Certain foreign body and patient characteristics are associated with poor outcomes with removal attempts made under direct visualization. These cases should be referred directly to otolaryngologists for otomicroscopic removal.

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