Discussion: Diagnosis And Management Of Eye, Ear, Nose, And Throat Disorders

 In clinical settings, eye, ear, nose, and throat (EENT) disorders account for the majority of pediatric visits. With the prevalence of these disorders, you must be familiar with their signs and symptoms as well as evidence-based practices for assessment and treatment. Although many pediatric patients present with common EENT disorders such as ear infections, allergies, and strep throat, some patients present with rare disorders requiring specialist care. In your role, making this distinction between when to treat and when to refer is essential. For this Discussion, examine the following case studies and consider potential diagnoses and management strategies.

Case Study 1

A mother presents with her 2-year-old child with complaints of ear pain and decreased sleep. Earlier this week, he had a runny nose and congestion with a mild cough that occurred mostly when lying down. His temperature is 100.7°F. You note the following physical findings: shotty anterior cervical adenopathy, mild nasal congestion, clear postnasal drainage, and lungs clear to auscultation. Ear examination reveals the following: right tympanic membrane is red, translucent, in a neutral position, with no pus or fluid noted; left tympanic membrane is full, reddish orange in appearance, and opaque with pus.

Case Study 2

Kaitlyn is a 4-year-old with a 2-day history of nasal congestion and cough in the early morning. Her mother reports thick, green nasal discharge. She is afebrile, and appetite and sleep are normal. Physical examination reveals: lungs clear to auscultation, tympanic membranes pearly gray without fluid in a neutral position, no cervical adenopathy, nasal turbinates are red, and clear rhinorrhea and postnasal drip.

Case Study 3

Marcus is an 8-year-old with a 36-hour complaint of headache (frontal), sore throat, fever to 102°F, and nausea. Mom says his appetite is decreased and his breath smells “like a puppy dog’s.” Physical examination reveals: lungs clear to auscultation, tympanic membranes partially obscured by cerumen but in neutral position and transparent, enlarged tonsilar and anterior cervical lymph nodes, 2+ enlarged and red tonsils with exudate, strawberry tongue, and petechiae on the soft palate.

To prepare:

  • Review “Eye Disorders” and “Ear Disorders” in the Burns et al. text.
  • Review and select one of the three case studies. Analyze the patient information, including the parent’s perspective.
  • Consider a differential diagnosis for the patient in the case study you selected. Think about the most likely diagnosis for the patient.
  • Think about a treatment and management plan for the patient. Be sure to consider appropriate dosages for any recommended pharmacologic and/or non-pharmacologic treatments.
  • Consider strategies for educating parents on the child’s disorder and reducing any concerns/fears presented in the case study.