Acute Epiglottitis Quiz

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Reviewed By:

Maxwell J. Nanes

Maxwell J. Nanes, DO (Emergency department)

Sanshiro Kato

Sanshiro Kato, MD (Emergency department)

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Learn more about Acute epiglottitis

Content updated on Sep 20, 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 of 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 pain medications are used as well.

View the symptoms of Acute epiglottitis


  • Jan L, Boute P, Mouawad F. Pasteurella multocida acute epiglottitis. Eur Ann Otorhinolaryngol Head Neck Dis. 2021 Mar;138(2):100-102. doi: 10.1016/j.anorl.2020.06.008. Epub 2020 Jun 27. PMID: 32600824.

  • Allen M, Meraj TS, Oska S, Spillinger A, Folbe AJ, Cramer JD. Acute epiglottitis: Analysis of U.S. mortality trends from 1979 to 2017. Am J Otolaryngol. 2021 Mar-Apr;42(2):102882. doi: 10.1016/j.amjoto.2020.102882. Epub 2021 Jan 4. PMID: 33429180.

Reviewed By:

Maxwell J. Nanes

Maxwell J. Nanes, DO (Emergency department)

Sanshiro Kato

Sanshiro Kato, MD (Emergency department)

From our team of 50+ doctors

Just 3 minutes.
Developed by doctors.

Ubie is supervised by 50+ medical experts worldwide

Shohei Harase

Shohei Harase, MD


Kameda Medical Center, Japan

Sanshiro Kato

Sanshiro Kato, MD

Emergency department

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Yu Shirai

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Yotsuya Yui Clinic, Japan

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Rohini R

Rohini R, MD

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National Center for Child Health and Development, Japan

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