QTip Injuries

Stemming from a recent patient encounter for removal of an ear foreign body, here are a few tidbits on q tips and ear safety-
  • A significant number of urgent care, emergency room visits stem from ear injuries resulting from attempts to clean the ears using qtips
  • Its still a large misconception that qtips are required for routine ear hygiene
  • According to the Journal of Pediatrics 2017, most of these injuries occur in patients under 8 years old
  • Typically patients intend to clean the ear with a QTIP, but what results is actually pushing wax deeper into the ear canal, rather than getting removed by the swab, resulting in more of an ear plug,
  • Ear canals are designed to clean themselves, unless otherwise obstructed by ear wax that is manually pushed in
  • Instead of using a qtip, use a cotton ball or a soapy washcloth to remove the visible wax from the outer ear.
In general the rule of thumb should be, nothing larger than the elbow goes inside the ear.

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