Center For Infectious Diseases and Immunology
The researchers at the Rochester General Hospital (RGH) Research Institute, Center for Infectious Diseases and Immunology, are studying the different germs that cause ear infections, and are working on making better vaccines against the new kinds of germs that cause ear infections. They are also studying how the immune system works against ear infections, and why this does not work in some kids.
The study involves taking nasal wash samples on well visits, and at 2 points in the study a teaspoon of blood. If there is an ear infection, in addition to the samples an ear tap will be performed.
An ear tap is a medical procedure. Anesthesia (numbing medicine) is first placed in the ear, to reduce pain. Afterwards, the health care provider looks into the ear using an otoscope to confirm that it looks infected. A needle is inserted to “suck out” the infected fluid behind the ear drum. This fluid is sent to the lab for studies.
The ear tap itself may help relieve pain, since it releases pressure on the ear drum.