An ear drainage culture is collected by placing a cotton swab gently in the ear canal. The sample is sent to the laboratory for testing to isolate and identify the type of organism causing the ear infection.
Review Date 8/5/2018
Updated by: Neil K. Kaneshiro, MD, MHA, Clinical Professor of Pediatrics, University of Washington School of Medicine, Seattle, WA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.