A study from the Medical Defence Union found that ear syringing was responsible for up to a fifth of the legal claims settled
in general practice. The payments to individual patients ranged from £2500 ($3590; €4078) to £55 500. In over half of the
claims settled, the syringing had been done by practice nurses. Almost all (92%) the claims arose from the use of a metal
syringe, with only one being from syringing with an electric irrigator. Over two thirds of the general practitioners involved
in the claims had not kept adequate medical records of the procedure.
The reasons for complications of syringing leading to claims were poor technique (43%), faulty equipment (26%), excessive
pressure (26%), and failure to examine the ear before syringing (5%).