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You are here : 3-RX.com > Medical Encyclopedia > Diseases and Conditions > Epiglottitis: Treatment & Monitoring
      Category : Health Centers > Throat Disorders


Alternate Names : Epiglottiditis

Epiglottitis | Symptoms & Signs | Diagnosis & Tests | Prevention & Expectations | Treatment & Monitoring

What are the treatments for the condition?

Keeping the person's airway open is the first concern. Some hospitals have epiglottitis teams. These teams have specialists to help the person with epiglottitis. The affected person should try to stay calm. A special breathing tube, known as an endotracheal tube, may need to be put through the mouth or nose into the windpipe. This bypasses the swollen epiglottis. In severe cases, a hole may need to be cut through the neck and into the windpipe. This is called a tracheotomy. Once the airway is secure, tests and treatment begins. Treatment includes antibiotics and steroids. It usually takes 48 to 72 hours to reduce swelling enough to remove the breathing tube. Adults and mildly affected children often do not need a breathing tube.

What are the side effects of the treatments?

There may be allergic reactions and other side effects from medications. There may be scarring if a tracheotomy is needed.

What happens after treatment for the condition?

Once the swelling has gone away, the child's breathing tube is removed. Oral antibiotics and tapering doses of oral steroids are given at home.

How is the condition monitored?

This is a true medical emergency. If there is a suspicion of epiglottitis, someone should call emergency medical services or take the person to the nearest emergency department immediately.

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Epiglottitis: Prevention & Expectations


Author: Mark Loury, MD
Reviewer: Adam Brochert, MD
Date Reviewed: 08/07/01

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