Complications of Earrings in an Infant

William J. Phelan, MD
JAMA. 1980;243(22):2288. doi:10.1001/jama.1980.03300480014011.
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To the Editor.—  Ear piercing in the pediatric age group is currently popular, and even infants are subjected to this procedure. Such endeavors are not without the occasional attendant complications of infection, bleeding, and keloid formation. This letter reports on the problem of posterior auricular scalp pressure sores in infants wearing earrings. A case report is used to highlight signs and symptoms that can be confused with more important disorders.

Report of a Case.—  A 4-week-old girl was referred for evaluation of possible meningitis and sepsis. There had been a nasal drainage for two to three days, occasional nighttime coughing, and rectal temperatures in the 38.2 to 38.8 °C range. A state of "paradoxical irritability" was reported, with the infant remaining alert and quiet when left alone but crying out painfully when picked up to be soothed or fed.Examination showed an active nontoxic infant with a mucopurulent nasal discharge


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