Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

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Infected Epiglottis Overview

Another name for Infected Epiglottis is Epiglottitis.

What is epiglottitis?
The epiglottis is a flap of tissue that covers the entrance to the windpipe during swallowing. A child with epiglottitis has inflammation of the epiglottis, caused by a bacterial infection. Epiglottitis can cause dangerous swelling of the epiglottis, which can obstruct the windpipe, leading to respiratory failure. Only about 2,000 cases of epiglottitis are reported in the US each year. Early treatment of epiglottitis with antibiotics usually results in a complete cure.

What are the symptoms of epiglottitis?
Symptoms of epiglottitis include severe sore throat, swollen glands in the neck, difficulty swallowing, inability to swallow, excessive drooling, fever, breathing difficulty, muffled voice, and noisy breathing (a rasping sound) during inhalation.

How does the doctor treat epiglottitis?
Treatment for epiglottitis includes oxygen therapy, intravenous fluids, and antibiotics. Severe cases may require placement of a tube in the trachea so the lung can be ventilated.

Continue to Infected Epiglottis Incidence

Last Updated: Sep 11, 2010 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed Infected Epiglottis References
  1. Hickerson SL, Kirby RS, Wheeler JG, Schutze GE. Epiglottitis: a 9-year case review. South Med J. 1996 May;89(5):487-90. [8638174]
  2. Nakamura H, Tanaka H, Matsuda A, Fukushima E, Hasegawa M. Acute epiglottitis: a review of 80 patients. J Laryngol Otol. 2001 Jan;115(1):31-4. [11233618]
  3. Sack JL, Brock CD. Identifying acute epiglottitis in adults. High degree of awareness, close monitoring are key. Postgrad Med. 2002 Jul;112(1):81-2, 85-6. [12146095]
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