A 15-month-old boy is seen at the outpatient department for a fever. His mother says that 3 days ago her child had a cough and runny nose. She also observed him pulling on his right ear. Based on these findings, the nurse should suspect

acute otitis media

Explanation

• Acute otitis media generally follows a respiratory infection, either bacterial or viral. Children often have rhinitis and may have a low-grade fever for a number of days. Suddenly they will have a high-grade fever and a sharp constant pain in one or both ears.

• Older children can verbalize reports of pain. The infant becomes extremely irritable and frequently pulls or tugs at the affected ear in an attempt to gain relief from pain.

• Inflammation of the middle ear is the most prevalent disease of childhood after respiratory tract infections.

Incorrect options:

• Acute otitis externa is inflammation of the external ear canal.

• Sinusitis is inflammation of the sinuses.

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