Ear Irrigation Procedure Purpose: To clean the external ear of cerumen or a foreign body.
Equipment / supplies • Chux • Otoscope • Unsterile gloves • Optional: goggles, bayonet forceps for provider. • Basin for irrigation solution • 60cc syringe with butterfly tubing, or ear lavage tip. • Ear basin or emesis basin for outflow.
Before you begin • Before you irrigate the ear with the solution, you must have pt confirm the temp (if pediatric pt, have parent confirm temp). • Look at the order • If no details use tap water only • Other possibilities which need to be specified in the order may include -1/2 strength peroxide -Presoak with Debrox or Docusate Sodium.
STEPS • Wash your hands. • Assemble the equipment and supplies. • Greet and identify the patient. • Explain the procedure. • Have patient sit down. • Drape patient with waterproof barrier. • Using otoscope visualize ear canal and tympanic membrane.
STEPS • Instruct patient or parent to hold basin under ear to be lavaged. • Fill emesis basin with warm water • Put on gloves. • Tilt the patient’s head toward the affected side. • Fill the syringe. • Gently position the auricle with the nondominant hand. • With the dominant hand, place the tip of the syringe into the auditory meatus, and direct the flow of solution toward the roof of the canal.
STEPS • Continue irrigation until returned solution is clear. • Dry the patient’s external ear. • Attempt to visualize tympanic membrane again with the otoscope. • Report to provider results of ear lavage before discharging the patient. • Document on patient record/EHR a brief description of procedure and patient’s response. • Properly care for or dispose of equipment and supplies. Clean the work area. Wash your hands.