Following a motorcycle accident, a 17-year-old man is brought to the ED. What physical assessment findings related to the ear should be reported by the nurse immediately?

Answer Explanation: For the patient experiencing acute head trauma, immediately report the presence of clear, watery drainage from the ear. The fluid is likely to be cerebrospinal fluid associated with skull fracture. The ability to visualize the malleus is a normal physical assessment finding. The tympanic membrane is normally pearly gray in color. Tenderness of the mastoid area usually indicates inflammation. This should be reported, but is not a finding indicating urgent intervention.

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