How to Really Irrigate Patients

November 1, 2007

Cerumen can sometimes be so impacted that irrigation is ineffective. A good way to loosen it is to have the patient reach up over his or her head with the hand on the side opposite that of the ear being irrigated and grip the pinna by the helix.

 

Cerumen can sometimes be so impacted that irrigation is ineffective. A good way to loosen it is to have the patient reach up over his or her head with the hand on the side opposite that of the ear being irrigated and grip the pinna by the helix. As you proceed with the irrigation, have the patient repeatedly pull the ear up and toward the rear so as to produce a slight movement of the canal. This motion helps separate the cerumen from the external acoustic meatus so that the irrigation stream can flush it out.

----Konrad Sarosiek, Third-year medical student,
Drexel University College of Medicine,
Philadelphia

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