In a recent study looking at pediatric medical treatment during 2009, researchers revealed that an estimated $3 billion was attributed to caring for ear infections. Over 80 million medical records from those under 18 years of age were reviewed for this study, and nearly 11% of these patients had been treated for ear infections.
Acute Otitis Media, more commonly known as an ear infection, is the most common ailment affecting children and is the primary reason for antibiotic use among this age group. Over the years, there has been a decrease in the number of individuals affected, yet the treatment costs remain to be a heavy burden on the healthcare system.
Researchers from the University of California, Los Angeles published their study in the January issue of The Laryngoscope, which is a medical journal. Researchers found that the estimated cost of treatment for an ear infection
was roughly $314 per child per year, and the costs for additional medications at the pharmacy averaged at $17.
Ongoing research is still being performed, with researchers hoping to find ways to help reduce or prevent the incidence of ear infections in an effort to control costs and reallocate valuable resources. Although there has been progress, it appears that the infections are still highly prevalent.