Balloons in the Noses of Kids

iStock_000023037295_LargeKids are famous for putting things in their bodily orifices that subsequently require a visit to an ED to assess and remove.  Especially lately, batteries of the button variety seem to be in vogue.  Enter now, as Rick and I discuss on PodMed this week, an actual therapy involving placing a balloon in the nose of a child (!) as a treatment for fluid accumulation in the middle ear following an ear infection, or in the vernacular, middle ear effusion after acute otitis media.  The study is reported in the Canadian Medical Association Journal, and I'm guessing it's just a matter of time before this is the latest on the playground.  And just in time for back to school!

A total of 320 children aged 4-11 who had acute ear infections and effusion were randomized to the nasal balloon three times daily or usual care for a period of three months (!).  The children were amazingly compliant with treatment; at one month 89% were using the balloon as prescribed, and at three months 80% were doing so.  The strategy also resulted in about 12% greater likelihood of resolution of the effusion at both one and three months.  Sounds like a win-win to us.  Other topics this week include depression screening recommendations from the USPSTF, hypothermia for kidney graft donors, and a new treatment for elevated triglycerides, both in NEJM. Until next week, y'all live well.

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