What can go wrong?

An infection in the middle ear can lead to an abscess (collection of pus) behind the ear. This is called mastoiditis and causes the ear to stick out. This is quite rare but needs urgent treatment even if the child seems relatively well.

Very rarely infections can travel to the brain or cause a vein between the ear and the brain to clot. Patients who have such complications usually have spiking fevers and are unwell.