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Acute otitis media in children - there are guidelines but are they followed?

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  08 March 2006

S L Woolley
Affiliation:
Bristol Royal Infirmary, Bristol
D R K Smith
Affiliation:
University Hospital of Wales, Cardiff, Wales

Abstract

Aims: To determine whether guidelines relating to the diagnosis and treatment of acute otitis media (AOM) in children are followed in a tertiary paediatric emergency department (ED).

Methods: A literature search was undertaken to identify national and international guidelines relating to the diagnosis and management of AOM in children. The guidelines were assessed for their applicability to UK practice. A retrospective case note audit was undertaken. Children presenting to the ED with a discharge diagnosis of AOM over a two month period were identified from the ED computer discharge system. The notes were analysed for compliance with the identified guidelines.

Results: 50 children were identified (age range three months to 11 years). Eighty-six per cent of children received antibiotics. Fifty-two per cent of children had documented signs of AOM. Twenty-five of these children received antibiotics (22 in accordance with guidelines, three not in accordance with guidelines, antibiotic not documented in one case). Thirty-nine per cent of children received antibiotics inappropriately. In all cases, the antibiotic dosage was below the dose recommended in all guidelines.

Conclusion: There is poor compliance with national (and international) guidelines for the management of AOM in this ED. National guidelines must be introduced into the department by direct teaching at senior house officer and middle grade level, a re-audit must be carried out and regular reviews of the notes of patients diagnosed with AOM must be undertaken to ensure compliance with guidelines is maintained.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
© 2005 Royal Society of Medicine Press

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