Humidified oxygen therapy

Epiglottitis: An Under-recognized, Life-Threatening Infection

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Dr. Pradeep Shenoy, MD, FRCS, FACS, DLO,1
Marah Mansour2

1ENT & Neck Surgeon, Campbellton Regional Hospital, Campbellton, New Brunswick, Canada.
2Faculty of Medicine, Tartous University, Tartous, Syrian Arab Republic.


Abstract:Acute Epiglottitis is a potentially life threatening infection of the supraglottic structures, epiglottis and aryepiglottic folds causing fatal airway obstruction. Historically described in adults before the 1960s and after the 1960s in the paediatric group causing more mortality and morbidity until the introduction of the H. influenza type B vaccine in 1993. Since then the incidence was described again more in the adult group.6 Prompt diagnosis and treatment will save the patients if failed mortality is as high as 80% in children and 20% in adults.2
Key Words: Epiglottis, H. Influenza Type B, Aspergillus, Kliebsiella, Candida, Fibroptic laryngoscopy, Humidified oxygen therapy, orotracheal intubation, naso-tracheal intubation, tracheostomy thumb sign.
Epiglottits is an acute emergency in ENT practice as mortality is high in children at about 80% and 20% in adults.
Before the 1960s epiglottitis was not seen in the paediatric group.
Since the invention of H. influenza type B vaccine the numbers in the paediatric group has declined though in adults it remains the same as there are other bacteria and fungus involved in immune compromised patients .
Acute epiglottitis is potentially life threatening both in children and adults. Prompt diagnosis with clinical examination complimented with radiographic investigation depending on the severity of cases and early treatment could save the patient
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