Glucose Calms Babies During Hearing Exams

mom holding baby's hand

Glucose and saccharose given to newborns and infants is being used to calm infants during audiological examinations. The 25 percent glucose solution works on the opioid receptors in the brain activated in part by endorphins. This solution is used as a sedative and a pain killer. The study, conducted by SMED advisor, Professor Dr. Elena Merkulova, Belarusian Medical University, Minsk, Belarus, claims, “Using the 25 percent glucose solution is an effective, accessible, safe and cheap method of sedation.”

Read this study published in First Congress of CE-ORL-HNS conference held in Barcelona, Spain 2011.

elena merkulova

Dr. Elena Merkulova, Belarusian Medical University

Infants with Acute Otitis Media Often Suffer Pre-Existing Conditions

child's ear
Children treated for ear infections (acute suppurative otitis media) at Minsk Children’s Hospital in Belarus are included in a study conducted by SMED advisor, Professor Dr. Elena Merkulova, Belarusian Medical University, Minsk, Belarus, to measure AOM. Infants under three years old with AOM suffer from pre-existing infections, including upper respiratory, with over half suffering from allergies and anemia.

Read this study published in Third Congress of European ORL-HNS Prague 2015.

elena merkulova

Dr. Elena Merkulova, Belarusian Medical University

Swollen Tonsils May Block Children’s E-Tubes

ear anatomy
A study conducted by SMED advisor, Professor, Pediatric Otolaryngology, Dr. Elena Merkulova, Belarusian Medical University, Minsk, Belarus, focuses on children whose tonsils are swollen and enlarged. A procedure to remove the adenoids and tonsils is proving to be effective in treating children. Read article in HNO-Abstractband 2015.

elena merkulova

Dr. Elena Merkulova, Belarusian Medical University

Swollen Tonsils May Block Children’s E-Tubes

ear anatomy
A study conducted by SMED advisor, Professor, Pediatric Otolaryngology, Dr. Elena Merkulova, Belarusian Medical University, Minsk, Belarus, focuses on children whose tonsils are swollen and enlarged. A procedure to remove the adenoids and tonsils is proving to be effective in treating children. Read article in HNO-Abstractband 2015.

elena merkulova

Dr. Elena Merkulova, Belarusian Medical University

SMED Advisor Recommends Acoustic Reflectometry for Pediatrics

Dr. Sibbald

Pediatrician Dr. Andres Sibbald

A study headed by SMED advisor, Dr. Andres Sibbald, focuses on the benefits of diagnosing children ages six to 35 months who show symptoms of middle ear disease when screened at local schools.

The pediatrician from Buenos Aires uses a combination of acoustic reflectometry (AR) with pneumatic otoscopy (PO) to identify ears that need medical attention.

AR measures the level of sound transmitted and reflected from the middle ear. PO monitors pressure changes in the ear’s tympanic membrane.

Children who are at-risk or have severe otitis media (OM) are tightly monitored for three-to-six months, then referred to an ENT specialist.

AR has advantages over tympanometry, a more precise diagnosing tool, in that it is easier to use on young children, who often find ear exams uncomfortable. Dr. Sibbald refers to a study published in JAMA Pediatrics, JAMA Pediatrics, that compares the two methods.

SMED Doctor Presents in Egypt

In the captivating city of Cairo, Society for Middle Ear Disease (SMED) Medical Director, Dr. Margaretha Casselbrant, explained how visiting scholars from developing countries are sponsored by SMED.

Along with other ENT specialists from England, the U.S., India, Italy, France and Macedonia, Dr. Casselbrant gathered in Egypt for “Otology on the Nile,” a symposium that focused on hearing and sensory ear disease.

Dr. Casselbrant gave a presentation on diagnosis and management of acute otitis media and balance disorders in children.

The conference, which took place on December 17th and 18th, 2015, included such topics as diabetic and aging ears, and cochlear implants and hearing aids. Read full article in SMED Fall 2016 newsletter.

SMED Doctor Helps Children With HIV in Ethiopia

Society for Middle Ear Disease (SMED) Medical Director, Dr. Margaretha Casselbrant, returned from her third trip to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia with the group “Healing the Children.”

“It was such an incredible experience to be part of such a distinguished group and travel to a developing country and work with wonderful children,” says Dr. Casselbrant.

Part of the group’s clinical work is to care for children from Mother Teresa’s orphanage in Addis Ababa. The facility houses approximatively 120 children, ages seven to 17 years of age with HIV, and provides education, social support and HIV treatment. Read full article in SMED Fall 2016 newsletter.

WizEar Helps Children with Hearing Problems in Central Africa

WizEar patient

WizEar patient receives treatment

In a place known for hippos, rhinos and exotic birds, WizEar Director Dr. John Matseke and his team of ear specialists travel to hospitals and clinics in remote areas of the country to conduct hearing tests on poor children with HIV.

Dr. Matseke and other team members are setting up basic ENT services and audiology screening services using audiometers and tympanometers at six of the eight provincial hospitals across Zimbabwe.

The Director is also heading up the St. Paul’s Musami Technical Education Unit to teach older deaf children and adolescents attending school the trade of carpentry, building, fashion and fabrics. Read full article in SMED Fall 2016 newsletter.

Help SMED Host Visiting Scholar

“Dear Colleagues,
You may or may not know that the first recipient of the SMED (Society for Middle Ear Disease) Visiting Scholars program for ear surgery for Developing Nations will be in Pittsburgh this month to receive training in mastoid surgery. He will be going back to Ethiopia to try and reduce the serious complications of otitis media in his homeland. He was fortunate to receive round trip airfare to Pittsburgh but SMED is paying his room and board in Pittsburgh. If you know of other potential candidates from Developing Nations please let us know.
Thanks for your continuing support of SMED.”
Dr. Charles Bluestone

Visiting Scholar

SMED Visting Scholar Program


SMED is relying on your support to fund one or two visiting scholars per year. Our goal is to raise at least $10,000 via the EngagePitt platform.

Dr. Alene Meshesha, an ENT surgeon from Addis Ababa, Ethiopia is SMED’s first Visiting Scholar.

Beginning on August 21, 2016, he will attend the University of Pittsburgh’s Temporal Bone course with Dr. Barry Hirsch. The next week, Dr. Meshesha will shadow Dr. David Chi to expand his surgical training.

To contribute to Dr. Meshesha’s two-week program, plus an additional visiting scholar, please visit our donation link at: engage.pitt.edu or engage.pitt.edu/smed.

SMED Kicks Off Visiting Scholar Program

SMED Visting Scholar Program

SMED Visting Scholar Program

It is estimated that as many as 30,000 people die each year from complications of chronic otitis media, mainly in developing nations around the globe.

Rural areas in countries such as Southeast Asia, Africa, and the Pacific Rim have a shortage of trained physicians.

That is why The Society for Middle Ear Disease (SMED) is passionate about bringing in international physicians here to Pittsburgh to learn of our ENT processes and practices.

The first physician in SMED’s Visiting Scholar Program is Dr. Alene Meshesha, an ENT surgeon from Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

Through a two-week training course, Dr. Meshesha will learn from our team of experts at the University of Pittsburgh to advance the medical care he provides to children in his home country.

Beginning on August 21, 2016, he will attend the University of Pittsburgh’s Temporal Bone course with Dr. Barry Hirsch. The next week, Dr. Meshesha will shadow Dr. David Chi to expand his surgical training.

SMED is relying on your support to fund one or two visiting scholars per year. Our goal is to raise at least $10,000 via the EngagePitt platform.

To contribute to Dr. Meshesha’s two-week course, plus an additional visiting scholar, please visit our donations link at: https://engage.pitt.edu.

We appreciate your generosity and look forward to continuing this outreach to developing countries.