Epiglottitis

Last reviewed: 2 Sep 2022
Last updated: 07 Jul 2020

Summary

Definition

History and exam

Key diagnostic factors

  • nonvaccination with Hib vaccine
  • sore throat
  • dysphagia
  • difficulty in controlling secretions
  • toxic appearance
  • acute distress
  • fever
  • tripod position
  • difficulty breathing
More key diagnostic factors

Other diagnostic factors

  • decreased oral intake
  • muffled voice
  • stridor
  • irritability
  • drooling
Other diagnostic factors

Risk factors

  • nonvaccination with Hib vaccine
  • immunocompromise
  • middle age
More risk factors

Diagnostic investigations

1st investigations to order

  • laryngoscopy
  • lateral neck radiograph
More 1st investigations to order

Investigations to consider

  • CBC
  • cultures of blood/supraglottis (epiglottis)
More investigations to consider

Treatment algorithm

ACUTE

initial presentation

ONGOING

once stable and extubated

Contributors

Authors

Rahul K. Shah, MD, FAAP
Rahul K. Shah

VP, Chief Quality and Safety Officer

Children's National Health System

Washington

DC

Disclosures

RKS declares that he has no competing interests.

Peer reviewers

Scott Brietzke, MD

Walter Reed Army Medical Center

Department of Surgery - Otolaryngology Service

Washington

DC

Disclosures

SB declares that he has no competing interests.

Sanjay Parikh, MD

Associate Professor

Department of Otorhinolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery

Albert Einstein College of Medicine

Bronx

NY

Disclosures

SP declares that he has no competing interests.

Kimsey Rodriguez, MD

Ochsner Health System

Department of Otolaryngology

New Orleans

LA

Disclosures

KR declares that he has no competing interests.

David Parry, MD

Catalina ENT

Tucson

AZ

Disclosures

DP declares that he has no competing interests.

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