Acute epiglottitis quiz

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Sanshiro Kato

Medically Reviewed By:

Sanshiro Kato, MD

Emergency department

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Learn more about Acute epiglottitis

Content updated on Jun 1, 2022

What is acute epiglottitis?

The epiglottis is a cartilage flap over the windpipe. Acute epiglottitis refers to life-threatening inflammation and swelling of the epiglottis which can result in airway block. It can be caused by infection or injury (e.g. scalding or burning). It can affect anyone, although infants and the elderly are more vulnerable.

Symptoms related to acute epiglottitis

  • Thick, muffled voice

  • Drooling

  • Difficulty speaking due to pain

  • Throat redness

  • Fever

  • Sore throat

  • Feeling breathless

  • Difficulty swallowing food or water

Questions your doctor may ask to check for acute epiglottitis

Your doctor may ask these questions to diagnose acute epiglottitis

  • Do you feel your voice has become muffled and unclear when talking?

  • Do you have drooling (because you cannot swallow saliva)?

  • Do you have difficulty speaking due to pain?

  • Do you have redness in your throat?

  • Do you have a fever?

Treatment for acute epiglottitis

It requires emergency medical attention in a hospital. Initial treatment focuses on securing the airway to enable breathing. This may be done by wearing an oxygen mask, inserting a tube into the windpipe, or in severe cases by inserting a needle through the windpipe to create a passage for air to enter. Antibiotics and painkillers are injected as well.

View the symptoms of Acute epiglottitis


Sanshiro Kato

Medically Reviewed By:

Sanshiro Kato, MD

Emergency department

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