What is epiglottitis?

Epiglottitis is defined as infection of the epiglottis which is a serious condition. It is important to note that the epiglottis is a tissue flap with a tongue-like texture found at the rear region of the throat. Generally, an infection is brought about by the Haemophilus influenza type B bacteria.

It is considered dangerous because once an individual has a swollen epiglottis, it blocks the trachea and affects normal breathing. Children between 2-6 years of age are susceptible to the condition. With the availability of HiB vaccine, the infection due to the Haemophilus influenza type B can be prevented.

How does the condition develop?

An infection begins with sore throat along with fever higher than 101 degrees F where the child rapidly becomes sick.

epiglottitis

An infection begins with sore throat along with fever higher than 101 degrees F where the child rapidly becomes sick.

Generally, the throat is seriously sore. During every breath, a harsh or raspy voice is produced which is called stridor. There is also difficulty swallowing that is accompanied by drooling. Additionally, the child refuses to lie down and prefers to stay seated and leans forward.

Management of epiglottitis

If the child has a severe sore throat accompanied by difficulty breathing and/or drooling, a doctor should be seen right away. Due to the rapid progression and serious complications, medical care is vital.

During the initial stages of the condition, the doctor might be able to diagnose the child with the condition without requiring an X-ray. If it has progressed with hoarse breathing and drooling, the child must be taken to the nearest healthcare facility for further treatment.

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