Epiglottitis, acute
A very rapidly progressive infection causing inflammation of the epiglottis (the flap that covers the trachea) and tissues around the epiglottis that may lead to abrupt blockage of the upper airway and death. The infection is usually caused by bacteria (such as Hemophilus influenzae, Streptococcus pneumoniae, Staphylococcus aureus, and Streptococci) and is contracted through the respiratory tract. Subsequent downward extension produces what is called cellulitis with marked inflammation of the epiglottis and nearby structures. The inflamed epiglottis mechanically obstructs the airway; the work of breathing increases, and the retention of carbon dioxide and hypoxia (low oxygen) may result. Clearance of secretions is also impaired. These factors may result in fatal asphyxia within a few hours. The onset of this disease is typically acute and the course is frequently fulminant. Sore throat, hoarseness, and, frequently, high fever develop abruptly in a previously well child. Dysphagia (trouble swallowing) and respiratory distress characterized by drooling, dyspnea (difficulty breathing), tachypnea (fast breathing), and inspiratory stridor (noisy inspiration) develop rapidly, often causing the child to lean forward and hyperextend the neck to enhance air exchange. the child may appear in severe respiratory distress and appear to be struggling for breath. The patient should be hospitalized immediately whenever the diagnosis is suspected clinically. Direct visualization of the epiglottis is diagnostic. Visualization of the epiglottis should be done only by designated trained personnel using equipment to establish an airway if necessary. If direct examination of the larynx confirms the diagnosis by revealing a beefy red, stiff, and edematous (swollen) epiglottis, an artificial airway should be placed immediately. The causative organism may then be cultured from the upper respiratory tract and, usually, from the blood. Epiglottitis caused by H. influenzae type b can be prevented with highly effective Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib) conjugate vaccines in infants at or before 2 months of age. Because sudden complete airway obstruction occurs so unpredictably, a continually adequate airway must be secured immediately, preferably by nasotracheal intubation, and specific parenteral antibiotics given. Speed is vital. The nasotracheal tube is usually required until the patient has been stable for 24 to 48 hours (usual total intubation time

Medical dictionary. 2011.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Epiglottitis — Infobox Disease Name = PAGENAME Caption = DiseasesDB = 4360 ICD10 = ICD10|J|05|1|j|00 ICD9 = ICD9|464.3, ICD9|476.1 ICDO = OMIM = MedlinePlus = eMedicineSubj = emerg eMedicineTopic = 169 eMedicine mult = eMedicine2|emerg|375 eMedicine2|ped|700… …   Wikipedia

  • Acute exacerbation of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease — An acute exacerbation of COPD is a sudden worsening of COPD symptoms (shortness of breath, quantity and color of phlegm) that typically lasts for several days. It may be triggered by an infection with bacteria or viruses or by environmental… …   Wikipedia

  • Acute epiglottitis — A very rapidly progressive infection causing inflammation of the epiglottis (the flap that covers the trachea) and tissues around the epiglottis that may lead to abrupt blockage of the upper airway and death. The infection is usually caused by… …   Medical dictionary

  • Severe acute respiratory syndrome — SARS redirects here. For other uses, see SARS (disambiguation). Further information: Progress of the SARS outbreak Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Classification and external resources SARS coronavirus (SARS CoV) is causative of the syndrome …   Wikipedia

  • ICD-10 Chapter X: Diseases of the respiratory system — International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems 10th Revision Chapter Blocks Title I A00–B99 Certain infectious and parasitic diseases II C00–D48 Neoplasms III D50–D89 Diseases of the blood and blood forming… …   Wikipedia

  • Croup — also refers to the rump of a quadruped and the crop of a bird. For the work of a casino employee, see croupier. Croup Classification and external resources The steeple sign as seen on an AP neck X ray of a c …   Wikipedia

  • Pharyngitis — Classification and external resources Inflammed oropharynx: swollen and red. ICD 10 J …   Wikipedia

  • croup — croup1 /kroohp/, n. Pathol. any condition of the larynx or trachea characterized by a hoarse cough and difficult breathing. [1755 65; n. use of croup to cry hoarsely (now dial.), b. CROAK and WHOOP] croup2 /kroohp/, n. the highest part of the… …   Universalium

  • Sinusitis — Classification and external resources Left sided maxillar sinusitis marked by an arrow. Note the absence of the air transparency indicating the presence of fluid in contrast to the other side. ICD 10 …   Wikipedia

  • Asthma — For other uses, see Asthma (disambiguation). Asthma Classification and external resources Peak flow meters are used to measure one s peak expiratory flow rate ICD 10 …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”