Irrigation with water can be an effective method for removing a foreign body from the external auditory canal of a pediatric patient. However, there are certain situations where this procedure should not be attempted and an alternative method should be employed.


Contraindications for irrigating the ear to remove a foreign body:

(1) perforation of the tympanic membrane

(2) irrigation fluid not close to body temperature

(3) inability to place the tip of the irrigation probe beyond the object

(4) object firmly impacted in the canal


Contraindications based on type of foreign body:

(1) disc battery

(2) vegetables, beans, or other plant material that is likely to swell when wet

(3) other hygroscopic materials

(4) objects with sharp edges


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