The Horror of Ear Wax

During a WMA course introduction I often ask students to tell me and the class their name, where they are from, what they do, and as they think about providing first aid what would gross them out. Since I usually go first I unequivocally tell students that ear wax grosses me out. Big hunks of brown, gray, and stinky ear wax. I developed this aversion during several years of dissolving impacted ear wax while I worked as an urgent care EMT. You could be in pieces on the floor or vomiting days of partially digested food and I would not mind. I would stare at maggots erupting from your skin or puss oozing from infected blisters. But if ear wax was hanging on the tiny hairs of your outer ears I will look away in horror and tend to my sympathetic ASR.

Bloggers Mark Leyner and Dr. Billy Goldberg muse about cerumen at this blog post, Eww or Eureka? An ode to earwax.

Submitted by:
Greg Friese, MS, NREMT-P, WEMT
President, Emergency Preparedness Systems LLC

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