1. Explain procedure to patient.
  2. Bring equipment to patient’s beside. Check physician’s order. Protect patient and bed linens with a waterproof pad.
  3. Perform hand hygiene.
  4. Have patient sit up or lie with head tilted toward the side of the affected ear. Have patient support a basin under the ear to receive the irrigating solution.
  5. Clean pinna and meatus at the auditory canal as necessary with applicators dipped in warm tap water or irrigating solution.
  6. Fill bulb syringe with solution. If using an irrigating container, allow air to escape from tubing.
  7. Straighten auditory canal by pulling the pinna up and back for an adult, straight and back for a child over 3 years of age, and down and back for an infant or child up to 3 years of age.
  8. Direct a steady slow stream of solution against roof of auditory canal, using only sufficient force to remove secretions. Do not occlude auditory canal with irrigating nozzle. Allow solution to flow out unimpeded.
  9. When irrigation solution is completed, place cotton ball loosely in the auditory meatus and have patient lie on the side of the affected ear on a towel or absorbent pad.
  10. Perform hand hygiene.
  11. Chart irrigation, appearance of drainage, and patient’s response.

Return in 10 to 15 minutes and remove cotton ball and assess drainage

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