Increasing knowledge, skills and expertise in Otorhinolaryngology, Head & Neck patient care.


Report on 20th International Symposium on Recent Advances on Otitis Media

June 9-13, 2019 Lowes Hollywood Hotel, Los Angeles, California, USA

Theresa O’Leary NZRN
Director/Ear Nurse Consultant
TOLBECS Ear Centre

Summary of the Conference:

This is THE conference to attend if you have a role in helping families experiencing the effects of Otitis Media in any form. It covers in depth, the new learnings in both the clinical and scientific aspects of OM. Knowledge advances with diagnosis, practice guidelines, aetiologies, identification technologies, vaccines, biofilms, mucoids, pathogens, new therapies, novel treatments and exactly how OM effects individuals, families, communities and countries were all presented by international speakers.

Why I attended:

I was invited onto an international panel of nurses; to explore and compare the differences/similarities in nurse’s management of OM in different countries.

We explored two cases:

  • a 5 year old presenting with 3 months of glue ear and
  • a 12 year old presenting with a long standing odorous leaking ear

Overall reflection:

  • most of the OM interventions mentioned from around the world involve something that costs – a product, a drug application or a surgery
  • our TOLBECS holistic, sustainable, simple ‘help mother nature’ rationale of physically moving the mucous blanket was a ‘new and fresh’ idea for many
  • our community based NZ nurse led practice is unusual
  • in the majority of USA states nurses are unable to practice autonomously

Favourite presentation and rationale:

  • Dr Shelly Chadha from the World Health Organisation was the opening keynote speaker.
  • Ear and Hearing Care is a world 4th priority
  • World Hearing Day is set for the 3rd March 2020 – we can each do our bit to increase public awareness
  • there are many resources available on their website

Major learnings:

World Health Organisation – their WHY!

  • 21 k die annually from CSOM
  • 1 billion young people are being exposed to too much noise
  • 66-330 million humans are affected by OM
  • 60% of child deafness is preventable
  • 1 in 10 people will have a disabling hearing loss by 2050
  • deafness is the 4th leading cause of years lived with a disability

General learnings:

  • chinchillas’ ears have many similar features to our human ears – poor chinchillas!
  • the development rate of all new technologies is speeding up – exponentially
  • vaccines change the pathogenesis of OM – it is a constant war to map the bacteria
  • the 3 main pathogens – haemophilus influenzae, streptococcus pneumoniae and moraxella catarrhalis are constantly modifying themselves
  • Dolosigranulum pigram and Corynebacterium accolens have an anti-Strep pneumoniae effect, if high numbers of these are present in the nasal mucosa the child’s OM incidence rate is less
  • anti-biofilm materials have begun development
  • trials in Brufen and anaesthetic drop use in AOM didn’t show a positive effect
  • Greenland – a need to develop a more holistic medical approach is recommended with the children and families of Inuit people after an exploration of their experiences and needs
  • Australia – extra vaccinations at a younger age did not reduce nasal carriage of pathogens
  • Australia – a new ap will be available soon for OM – education for everyone

How these learnings will benefit our practice at TOLBECS:

  • reinforce our sustainable holistic help for treating OME and CSOM
  • we will assess the WHO and the Australian OM aps – some of the information will help NZ’ers too
  • we can pass on up-to-date information on choices for management and treatment to other health professionals and the public
NoticeboardReport on 20th International Symposium on Recent Advances on Otitis Media

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