Outcomes for Paediatric Patients Awaiting Bilateral Myringotomy and Ventilation Tube Insertion for Otitis Media with Effusion Listed Prior to the COVID-19 Pandemic (2022)

Type of publication:Conference abstract

Author(s):*Lovett A.; Walters B.; Kumar Bhimrao S.

Citation:British Journal of Surgery. Conference: ASiT Surgical Conference 2022. Aberdeen United Kingdom. 109(Supplement 6) (pp vi38), 2022. Date of Publication: September 2022

Abstract:Aim: The decline in the incidence of otitis media with effusion (OME) during the COVID-19 pandemic has become apparent. This review investigates the outcomes for children with OME awaiting bilateral myringotomy and ventilation tube (BMT) who were referred prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. Method(s): All patients were reviewed in otolaryngology clinics between 1st February and 30th April 2021. Patients included were referred due to hearing, vestibular or developmental disorders prior to the first COVID-19 lockdown on 23rd March 2020. Analysis of routine consultation and audiological assessment was completed from records. Result(s): There were a total of 48 patients awaiting BMT. The average age was 6.8 years, with a male to female ratio of 1.38:1. Most initial referrals (54.2%) were due to hearing loss, followed by recurrent ear infections (33.3%). Forty-four patients were diagnosed with OME. Of those, only 9% remained awaiting BMT. All others were removed from the waiting list. One patient remained listed for an adenotonsillectomy, 30 were discharged, and nine required follow-up appointments. Conclusion(s): Our review demonstrates a significant reduction of BMT for OME following COVID-19. Further research on public health measures and changes in clinical practice during the 2020 lockdown would clarify the impact on OME.