Blogs » A man used a Q-Tip, this is how his skull got damaged

A man used a Q-Tip, this is how his skull got damaged


  • A 27 year old man, who we will randomly call "Brian" is presenting to the emergency room after collapsing from multiple seizures and a sharp pain in the ear. He had also in the weeks prior, been experiencing hearing loss and brownish discharge coming from one of his ears.

    When asked if he remembered what he was doing or did before the onset of the symptoms, he recalled being in his bathroom, cleaning his ears with a Q-Tip and about 3 hours later, he began to experience a very mild pain in his ear.

    He told doctors that he began experiencing discharge from his left ear for over 2 weeks and was also experiencing headaches around the same time frame.
    Hearing loss followed.

    First order of business for the Doctors was to perform a CT scan on the mans head, which led to them finding 2 abscesses (Infections) at the base of his skull, next to his left ear canal.

    Doctors immediately concluded that whatever was causing the symptoms was not brain related but ear related, a confirmation. They examined his ear a bit closer and soon discovered that Patient bri was suffering from Necrotizing Otitus Externa, which is a soft tissue infection of the outer ear canal up to the ear drum. This type of ear infection is EXTREMELY dangerous as it not only inflames the tissues but also destroys and eats away at the tissue and will spread to the brain and skull, causing death if left untreated.

    A minor surgical procedure was initiated to remove the infected tissue and he was given oral and intravenous antibiotics to treat what was left of the infection.

    Upon further inspection, It was shown that the bacterial infection had already eaten away at the bone tissue in some parts of his skull, leaving it paper thin, leaving it susceptible to breaks and damage and much of his inner ear bones were permanently damaged.

    Brian was able to make A Recovery, being left with permanent hearing loss.

    So now, the question is, How DID BRIAN receive the tissue eating bacterial infection that caused him much of his hearing?

    As it turns out, the individual didn't really sanitize or clean his bathroom sink too much, maybe, a few times a week instead of everyday with bleach cleaners, but in this instance, he remembered that the night before, he had taken out 2 Q-Tips from their box, used one and left the other one on the bathroom sink. The following day, he used the second one that was left on the sink, and during the cleaning, left a very small piece of cotton fiber inside his ear (with the bacteria), which in turn, caused an impacted clot of cotton and earwax, giving the bacterial infection room to thrive.

    When it comes to ear infections, people should know that there are 3 types of ear infections: Outer, Middle and Inner.
    All three infections can be caused by Viruses, Fungi and Bacterial. Most often, bacterial infections are caused by stagnant water in the ear from swimming and cotton fibers from Q-Tips.

    This is Dr. S. Horror, signing off, so be safe my friends. 

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