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Lynne asked...

My daughter has somehow picked up a hospital acquired infection in her ear...

My daughter has somehow picked up a hospital acquired infection in her ear. It is proving stubborn to treat and is about to start her 3rd lot of antibiotics. If the infection doesn't clear soon could it effect the mastoid bone in her ear?

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The answer

Some ear infections can be persistent and can require persistence with antibiotic treatment. Mastoiditis usually occurs following an untreated middle ear infection, where the bacteria spreads to the inner ear infecting the cells in the mastoid bone.

Symptoms of mastoiditis are redness, tenderness, swelling and pain behind the affected ear. Discharge may be noted from the ear. There may also be a high fever, headache and hearing loss in affected ear. If your GP suspects mastoiditis they will refer your daughter to an Ear, Nose and Throat specialist who will initiate further testing, usually blood tests, ear swab for culture and sensitivity and possible x ray or CT scan. Occasionally mastoiditis does need admission to hospital for IV antibiotics or to surgically drain the middle ear, this is called a myringotomy or removal of the mastoid bone if needed. Hopefully this will help you,

Answered by the Health at Hand nurses