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Pharmacy First: acute otitis media in children

Welcome to our CPD module series for community pharmacy technicians. Written in conjunction with the Pharmacy Magazine CPD series, it will mirror the magazine’s programme throughout the year. The series has been designed for you to use as part of your continuing professional development. Reflective exercises have been included to help you put your learning into practice.


To help pharmacy technicians update their knowledge of acute otitis media in children aged one to 17 years of age – one of the conditions included as part of the Pharmacy First service.


After completing this module and its online counterpart, pharmacy technicians will be
able to:    

  • Discuss the role the pharmacy team can play in reducing the number of GP appointments for children with AOM
  • Identify the age groups most likely to be affected and whether antibiotics should be used
  • Explain the different management options available.

Key facts

  • More than 75 per cent of episodes of acute otitis media (AOM) occur in children under 10 years of age
  • Young children are more susceptible as they have shorter and more horizontal Eustachian tubes – as they grow, the condition is less likely to occur
  • At least 70 per cent of children will experience one or more attacks of AOM by the age of two years. Around a third of these have several episodes
  • The peak age of incidence is six to 15 months and decreases with age. It is less common at school age.
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