Epiglottitis is one of the life-threatening conditions in which air entrainment in the lungs is blocked with swelling of the cartilaginous structure called epiglottis or "laryngeal cap" located in the throat area. Epiglottitis may be caused by consuming hot drinks, direct injuries in the throat, and infections. Hemophilus influenza type b (Hib) is the most common cause of pneumonia, meningitis and blood infection in children in the past. Epiglottitis can occur at any age. The routine "Hib vaccine" for infants has made epiglottitis rare, but is still considered a threat to children. If you suspect that you or one of your family members have epiglottitis, seek urgent help immediately. Early treatment can prevent life-threatening complications.
What are the symptoms?
In children the following symptoms may develop within a few hours epiglottit: fever, severe sore throat, abnormal and tremulous breathing, swallowing difficulty and painful swallowing, anxiety, restless behavior, significant relaxation when sitting or tilting forward.
How is epiglottitis treatment?
The most important process is to keep the airway open. Patients with respiratory distress should be provided with an upright seated, endotracheal tube or, if necessary, tracheotomy. If hypoxia is given oxygen should be given. The vein should be kept open and sedated if there is anxiety enough to make breathing difficult. The majority of steroids have not been shown. An anthibiotics should be given absolutely. Ceftriaxone (3×750-1500 mg / day in adult, 100-150 mg / kg / day in child, 3 doses in child), i.v. It is the first drug of choice. If not available, ampicillin + chloramphenicol can be used. Usually 7 days treatment is sufficient.
Also the routine use of Hib vaccine is the most effective way to protect. Oral rifampicin (600 mg / day for adults, 20 mg / kg / day for children) should be given for 4 days for contacts (those living in the same household and those who are in the same indoor environment for 5 days consecutively for at least four hours or once for at least 24 hours).