Intended for healthcare professionals


Antibiotics for otitis media . . .and other stories

BMJ 2017; 359 doi: (Published 05 October 2017) Cite this as: BMJ 2017;359:j4516

Which children need antibiotics for acute otitis media?

Trials have shown that antibiotic treatment is effective in children with acute otitis media. On the other hand, they’ve also shown that about half of children with the condition get better fairly quickly without antibiotics. What clinical features help doctors decide whether children need antibiotics immediately or if they can be safely delayed? A secondary analysis of data from a recent trial suggests that, if there is bulging of the tympanic membrane, it’s better to give antibiotics right away (Paediatrics doi:10.1542/peds.2017-0072).

Drowning in childhood

With the important exception of epilepsy, an analysis of deaths by drowning in childhood finds no evidence that other medical conditions increase risk. Childhood is the age …

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