The impact of national lockdown due to COVID-19 pandemic on frequency of occurrence of secretory otitis media in children – our experience
Darija Birtić, Matej Rezo, Jasminka Grigić, Željka Laksar Klarić, Mirjana Grebenar Čerkez
Objective: To present the impact of national lockdown due to COVID-19 pandemic on the incidence of persistent secretory otitis media in children. Patients: Children aged from four to 13 years who were surgically treated from 1st January 2017 to 31th December 2020 at the University Department of Otolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgery, University Hospital Center Osijek. Methods: Patients underwent otomicroscopy, tympanometry, tone audiometry and fiberendoscopy of the epipharynx. After confirmation of the existence of secretory otitis the children were treated surgically, using adenotomy and myringotomy by inserting ventilation tubes in the equilateral
ear. Results: This study included 107 children who were surgically treated with adenotomy and myringotomy by inserting ventilation tubes. The results showed a significant decline in the number of operations in 2020 compared to the previous three years, presumably due to national lockdown closures. We recorded the largest difference comparing 2018 and 2020, when the number of operations decreased by 87%. Conclusions: Drastic reduction of activities during the national lockdown closure, schooling from home and emphasizing the proper and regular implementation of personal hygiene have contributed to reducing the incidence of one of the most common infections in children. Lower frequency of acute otitis media has a positive effect on reducing the frequency of development of secretory otitis in children. Compared to the previous three years, there has been a significant decline in the number of children requiring surgical treatment. This is the first retrospective study on the impact of national lockdown on reducing the need for surgical treatment of persistent secretory otitis in children.