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Antibiotics Not Needed for Most Ear Infections

A study published inside the September 13, 2006 Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) reveals that "watchful waiting" is preferable to using antibiotics to the management of ear infections referred to as Acute Otitis Media (AOM). The research commences by noting that AOM is easily the most common diagnosis by which prescription antibiotics are prescribed to children.

With this particular study 283 children ages six months to 12 years observed in a hospital emergency department, with acute ear infections were broken into two groups. One group was treated only by the "wait-and-see prescription", called the WASP group. The 2nd group was called the the SP group which represented "standard prescription". The authors observed that prior studies didn't involve severe cases that might involve them being observed in the emergency room much like these cases.

The "wait-and-see prescription" selection of children did obtain a prescription for antibiotics, however their parents were advised to wait patiently and see for 48 hrs before considering filling the prescription. These parents were asked to not fill the prescription they were provided unless the kid either isn't any better or perhaps is worse in 48 hours. The "standard prescription" group got a prescription for antibiotics and weren't given any instructions to hold back and find out.

The outcome indicated that 62% of the prescriptions within the WASP group were never filled. Conversely, about 90% of the children inside the "standard prescription" group whose parents weren't asked to hold back and find out ended up using the antibiotics. All the more interesting could be that the researchers discovered that, "There wasn't any statistically significant difference regarding the groups in the frequency of subsequent fever, otalgia (pain), or unscheduled visits for medical care." Essentially the group that didn't take antibiotics did every bit as good as the group that took the medication.

Lead researcher, David M. Spiro, MD, commented within a WebMD article by saying, "In this country, 96% to 98% of physicians treat ear infections immediately with antibiotics, despite the fact that most cases will resolve by themselves with no treatment." In the conclusion of the study, Spiro and co-authors stated, "The WASP (wait-and-see-prescription) approach substantially reduced unnecessary usage of antibiotics in kids with AOM (acute otitis media) noticed in an emergency department and could be an alternative choice to routine usage of antimicrobials for management of such children.

It ought to be noted that in 2004 the American Academy of Pediatrics gave their approval towards the wait-and-see approach and stated that 80% of kids whose ear infections aren't treated immediately with antibiotics improve by themselves.

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