Best Procedure of the Day

The patient’s CC: bug in ear.

Physical exam: Pt in mild distress, holding one ear.  Otoscope exam shows the back end of a bug.

I started by filling the ear with 1% lidocaine, to drown the bug so they quit moving (which is apparently painful and freaky in an attached-to-your-brainstem weirdness kind of way).

Then it happened, something that hasn’t happened in years of doing this: the bug came out to keep from drowning!  There’s a little bug running on the bed, which met its maker quickly.  Re-exam showed the inside of the ear none the worse for wear, and the relief of everyone was terrific.

First time I’ve been charged by a bug, though.


  1. Totally awesome.

  2. When in an ambush, charge out of the kill zone, as it were.

  3. You are real lucky Doc, they charge when they are wounded.

  4. AAAAUUUUGGGGHHHHH!!!! The stuff that nightmares are made of.

  5. Nurse 1961 says:

    Any jumping and screaming involved in the alleged attempted by the bug to assault a healthcare provider in the line of duty?

    I think not!

    Judge and Jury were not consulted, I think it was a case of vigilant justice on a homeless bug.

  6. Another trick is to put some Vaseline on the lens of a flashlight and shine it in the ear; the bug will (hopefully) fly toward the light and get stuck in the Vaseline.