Last Reviewed : 12/25/2020

Epiglottitis is inflammation of the epiglottis—the flap at the base of the tongue that keeps food from going into the trachea(windpipe). Symptoms are usually rapid in onset and include trouble swallowing which can result in drooling, changes to the voice, fever, and an increased breathing rate. As the epiglottis is in the upper airway, swelling can interfere with breathing. People may lean forward in an effort to open the airway. As the condition worsens stridor and bluish skin may occur.

Epiglottitis was historically mostly caused by infection by H. influenzae type b. With vaccination it is now more often caused by other bacteria. Other possible causes include burns and trauma to the area. The most accurate way to make the diagnosis is to look directly at the epiglottis. X-rays of the neck from the side may show a "thumbprint sign" but the lack of this sign does not mean the condition is absent.

An effective vaccine, the Hib vaccine, has been available since the 1980s. The antibiotic rifampin may also be used to prevent the disease among those who have been exposed to the disease and are at high risk. The most important part of treatment involves securing the airway, which is often done by endotracheal intubation. Intravenous antibiotics such asceftriaxone and possibly vancomycin or clindamycin is then given. Corticosteroids are also typically used. With appropriate treatment, the risk of death among children with the condition is about one percent and among adults is seven percent.

With the use of the Hib vaccine, the number of cases of epiglottitis has decreased by more than 95%.While historically young children were mostly affected, it is now more common among older children and adults. In the United States it affects about 1.3 per 100,000 children a year. In adults between 1 and 4 per 100,000 are affected a year. It occurs more commonly in the developing world.


We researched this topic for you and found the following best online resources. They are categorized into basic, advanced, and research level based on the extent of information you need. You will be taken to the respective websites by pressing on the links below.


Basic information:

http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/epiglottitis/basics/definition/con-20027854 mayoclinic epiglottitis

http://www.healthline.com/health/epiglottitis health line epiglottitis

https://medlineplus.gov/ency/article/000605.htm medline plus epiglottitis

http://www.nhs.uk/conditions/epiglottitis/pages/introduction.aspx nhs uk epiglottitis

http://www.webmd.com/a-to-z-guides/epiglottitis-infection-inflammation#1 web md epiglottitis

http://www.msdmanuals.com/professional/ear,-nose,-and-throat-disorders/oral-and-pharyngeal-disorders/epiglottitismsd manuals (professional version) epiglottitis

http://www.news-medical.net/health/causes-of-epiglottitis.aspx news medical causes of epiglottitis

https://www.healthychildren.org/english/health-issues/conditions/ear-nose-throat/pages/epiglottitis.aspx healthy children epiglottitis

http://www.nytimes.com/health/guides/disease/epiglottitis/overview.html newyork times epiglottitis

https://myhealth.alberta.ca/health/pages/conditions.aspx?hwid=ste122072& my health alberta epiglottitis

https://www.verywell.com/epiglottitis-1191900 very well epiglottitis

https://www.healthlinkbc.ca/health-topics/ste122072 health link bc epiglottitis


Advanced information:

http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/763612-overview medscape epiglottitis

http://www.emedicinehealth.com/epiglottitis/article_em.htm emedicien health epiglottitis

http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/169521.php medical news today what is epiglottitis?

http://patient.info/in/health/epiglottitis-leaflet patient epiglottitis

https://radiopaedia.org/articles/epiglottitis radiopedia epiglottitis

https://www.fpnotebook.com/lung/airway/epgltts.htm family practise note book epiglottitis

http://www.medbullets.com/step2-3-pediatrics/20591/epiglottitis med bullets epiglottitis

http://www.hse.ie/eng/health/az/e/epiglottitis/treating-epiglottitis.html health service executive epiglottitis

http://learningradiology.com/archives04/cow%20108-epiglottitis/epiglottitiscorrect.htm learning radiology epiglottitis



http://www.arquivosdeorl.org.br/conteudo/acervo_eng.asp?id=561 pradhananga rb, adhikari p, sinha bk, thapa n. Prevalence of acute epiglottitis and its association with pulmonary tuberculosis in adults in a tertiary care hospital of nepal. Int. Arch. Otorhinolaryngol. 2008;12(4):494-497

http://www.jemds.com/data_pdf/2_p.j.%20sudhakar----vij--%20gu-.pdf prathipaty james sudhakar, p. B. Kameswararao. “a rare case of large epiglottic cyst”. Journal of evolution of medical and dental sciences 2015; vol. 4, issue 63, august 06; page: 11080-11082, doi: 10.14260/jemds/2015/1596

https://www.ijmhr.org/ijar.3.1/ijar.2015.123.pdf vaibhav shahi , dhananjay kumar singh. Asymptomatic absent epiglottis: acase report. Int j anat res 2015;3(1):945-946. Doi: 10.16965/ijar.2015.123

http://ijorl.mums.ac.ir/pdf_2022_b22dfb84a5fcd89a0f246e965b9fd199.html an unusual case of acute epiglottic abscess by tanthry deepalakshmi et al., iranian journal of otorhinolaryngology,vol.26(1),serial no.74, jan 2014

https://www.hindawi.com/journals/criot/2014/235975/ f. Ahumada, d. Pérez, m. De górgolas, et al., “subacute histoplasmosis with focal involvement of the epiglottis: importance of differential diagnosis,” case reports in otolaryngology, vol. 2014, article id 235975, 3 pages, 2014. Doi:10.1155/2014/235975

https://www.hindawi.com/journals/criot/2014/640704/ toshizo koizumi, katsunari yane, toshiaki yamanaka, and tadashi kitahara, “a method of transoral finger dissection for a giant epiglottic lipoma,” case reports in otolaryngology, vol. 2014, article id 640704, 5 pages, 2014. Doi:10.1155/2014/640704

https://www.hindawi.com/journals/ijoto/2010/201806/ cody a. Koch, steven m. Olsen, amy m. Saleh, and laura j. Orvidas, “spontaneous epiglottic hematoma secondary to supratherapeutic anticoagulation,” international journal of otolaryngology, vol. 2010, article id 201806, 3 pages, 2010. Doi:10.1155/2010/201806

http://head-face-med.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/1746-160x-4-15 epiglottis reshaping using co2 laser: a minimally invasive technique and its potent applications by constantinos bourolias et al.,, head & face medicine20084:15 doi: 10.1186/1746-160x-4-15

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/pmc3498669/ saudi j anaesth. 2012 jul-sep; 6(3): 279–281. Doi: 10.4103/1658-354x.101222 pmcid: pmc3498669 acute epiglottitis: trends, diagnosis and management by claude abdallah

http://bja.oxfordjournals.org/content/85/5/795.full adult epiglottitis: an under-recognized, life-threatening condition by w. A. Ames et al., br. J. Anaesth. (2000) 85 (5):795-797.doi: 10.1093/bja/85.5.795


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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_md5nli5oii epiglottitis diagnosis and treatment

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=heef-ceko18 epiglottitis: diagnosis and treatment


Presentations/quiz/newspaper articles:

http://www.huffingtonpost.in/entry/what-is-epiglottitis-symptoms_us_577e3f3be4b0344d514e037b huffington post what is epiglottitis? Sarah silverman's scary illness, explained

http://www.forbes.com/sites/brucelee/2016/07/07/sarah-silverman-lucky-to-be-alive-after-bout-with-epiglottitis/#20a5a1b3235a forbes sarah silverman 'lucky to be alive' after bout with epiglottitis

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3678011/i-insanely-lucky-alive-sarah-silverman-reveals-died-sore-throat-turned-freak-deadly-disease-kill-minutes.html daily mail 'i am insanely lucky to be alive': sarah silverman reveals she almost died after her 'sore throat' turned out to be a 'freak' deadly disease that can kill in minutes

read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3678011/i-insanely-lucky-alive-sarah-silverman-reveals-died-sore-throat-turned-freak-deadly-disease-kill-minutes.html#ixzz4nzyjpudr

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