Foreign body – popcorn kernel in ear

Foreign body – popcorn kernel in ear

A 3-year-old female is brought into the emergency department by her mother. The mother explains that the family had just been enjoying “Friday night movie night” at home when the child began to pull at her ear and complain of pain.

The child has a popcorn kernel in her ear.

Foreign bodies (FB) in pediatric ears and noses are very common. The challenge is being able to see them and to remove them. The WiscMed Wispr is excellent at providing an image of the FB and for documenting the finding in the medical chart. In a 3-year-old pediatric patient, you generally have one “chance” to remove the object before the child will no longer cooperate. If the foreign body can not be removed in the clinical environment, the child will usually need to be sedated; not because removal is painful, but because the child needs to remain still for a successful removal without secondary trauma. In this case, the popcorn kernel was removed in the emergency department under Wispr visualization with a curette. Post removal images were not possible because the child was no longer “cooperative.” The final disposition for the patient included a “Buddy Ball”  teddy bear.

WiscMed thanks Dr. Patrick Wolf of The Marshfield Clinic – Rice Lake for the contribution to this case.