Contributor: Michael Hunt, MD
- Due to the efficacy of vaccination, epiglottitis is now more common in adults than children
- Risk factors include smoking and other immunocompromising co-morbidities, such as diabetes
- Epiglottitis can present with sore throat and fever, with potential rapid progression to respiratory distress and stridor
- Diagnosis can include x-ray to look for the “thumbprint sign,” nasofiberoptics, and/or CT
- Antibiotics are mainstay of treatment but severe cases may need establishment of a definitive airway, typically done with fiberoptics in the operating room due to the potential to irritate the epiglottitis with traditional laryngoscopy
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Summarized by Will Dewispelaere, MS4 | Edited by Erik Verzemnieks, MD