Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Antibiotics not always beneficial for childhood ear infections

10.10.2002


More children are treated in the U.S. with antibiotics for inflammation of the middle ear, or otitis media, than any other child health problem. More than five million cases are diagnosed every year. But now, a scholarly review of over one hundred studies by a U.Va. pediatrician concludes that antibiotics help only one in eight children with ear infections.



Dr. J. Owen Hendley, professor of pediatrics and a specialist in pediatric infectious diseases, writes in the Oct. 10 edition of the New England Journal of Medicine that placebo-controlled trials found ear infections had gone away in one week in 81 percent of placebo recipients, as compared with 94 percent of antibiotic recipients. Hendley says there is a clear downside to the use of antibiotics to treat common ear infections. "The bacteria which cause ear infections learn quickly to be resistant to antibiotics. At some point we’re going to run out of drugs to treat the problem," he says. "Antibiotic resistance is a huge problem in this country. The practice of treating eight children to help the one who needs antibiotics just makes it worse."

When they diagnose an ear infection, doctors should hold off giving antibiotics for 48 to 72 hours, Hendley advises, because the infection can clear up spontaneously. The pain and irritability that accompany ear infections should be treated with children’s acetaminophen, ibuprofen or other pain relievers. Hendley, however, found that an antibiotic, such as amoxicillin, is recommended for a less common ear infection, bacterial otitis media or "pus drum", characterized by bulging eardrums and visible pus.


In addition, Hendley’s review sheds light on the increasing use of tympanostomy tubes in the eardrum to help drain fluid from the middle ear in children with recurrent ear infections, usually three or four episodes within six months. Hendley says there is no benefit to children unless they suffer from more severe bacterial otitis. Often, he says, the fluid goes away on its own. The review also found that giving children a flu shot can reduce the likelihood of otitis by 30 percent, but the benefit only lasts during flu season, about six weeks out of the year. For more information on Hendley’s article visit the New England Journal of Medicine’s website at www.nejm.org.

Bob Beard | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://content.nejm.org/
http://hsc.virginia.edu/medicine/clinical/pediatrics/pediatrics.html
http://www.healthsystem.virginia.edu/people/dop/dopDetail.cfm?drid=211

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Oxygen can wake up dormant bacteria for antibiotic attacks
08.12.2016 | Penn State

nachricht NTU scientists build new ultrasound device using 3-D printing technology
07.12.2016 | Nanyang Technological University

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Significantly more productivity in USP lasers

In recent years, lasers with ultrashort pulses (USP) down to the femtosecond range have become established on an industrial scale. They could advance some applications with the much-lauded “cold ablation” – if that meant they would then achieve more throughput. A new generation of process engineering that will address this issue in particular will be discussed at the “4th UKP Workshop – Ultrafast Laser Technology” in April 2017.

Even back in the 1990s, scientists were comparing materials processing with nanosecond, picosecond and femtosesecond pulses. The result was surprising:...

Im Focus: Shape matters when light meets atom

Mapping the interaction of a single atom with a single photon may inform design of quantum devices

Have you ever wondered how you see the world? Vision is about photons of light, which are packets of energy, interacting with the atoms or molecules in what...

Im Focus: Novel silicon etching technique crafts 3-D gradient refractive index micro-optics

A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.

Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...

Im Focus: Quantum Particles Form Droplets

In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.

“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...

Im Focus: MADMAX: Max Planck Institute for Physics takes up axion research

The Max Planck Institute for Physics (MPP) is opening up a new research field. A workshop from November 21 - 22, 2016 will mark the start of activities for an innovative axion experiment. Axions are still only purely hypothetical particles. Their detection could solve two fundamental problems in particle physics: What dark matter consists of and why it has not yet been possible to directly observe a CP violation for the strong interaction.

The “MADMAX” project is the MPP’s commitment to axion research. Axions are so far only a theoretical prediction and are difficult to detect: on the one hand,...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ICTM Conference 2017: Production technology for turbomachine manufacturing of the future

16.11.2016 | Event News

Innovation Day Laser Technology – Laser Additive Manufacturing

01.11.2016 | Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

 
Latest News

Scientists track chemical and structural evolution of catalytic nanoparticles in 3-D

08.12.2016 | Materials Sciences

Decoding cement's shape promises greener concrete

08.12.2016 | Materials Sciences

Will Earth still exist 5 billion years from now?

08.12.2016 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>