The patient will be admitted to the hospital, usually an intensive care unit (ICU).
Treatment may include methods to help the patient breathe, including:
- Breathing tube (intubation)
- Moistened (humidified) oxygen
Other treatments may include:
- Antibiotics to treat the infection
- Anti-inflammatory medicines called corticosteroids to decrease throat swelling
- Fluids given through a vein (by IV)
Epiglottitis can be a life-threatening emergency. However, with proper treatment, the outcome is usually good.
Spasm may cause the airways to close abruptly. In this case, death follows within minutes.
The airways may become totally blocked, which could result in death.
Calling Your Health Care Provider
Call the local emergency number (such as 911) if your child has symptoms of epiglottitis, including sudden breathing difficulties, excessive drooling, and irritability.
Review Date : 1/29/2010
Reviewed By : Neil K. Kaneshiro, MD, MHA, Clinical Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, University of Washington School of Medicine. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.
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