The epiglottis is made of cartilage and is located at the base of the tongue. It helps prevent food from entering your windpipe. The tissue of the epiglottis can swell and block your airway. This requires immediate medical attention. If you suspect that you or your child has epiglottitis, call a doctor or seek emergency medical help immediately.
Epiglottitis is uncommon, but affects mostly children. Vaccines help protect your child from contracting the bacteria (Haemophilus influenzae type b) most responsible for this type of tissue inflammation.
Abnormal breathing sounds (stridor)
Fever Blue skin color (cyanosis)
Drooling Difficulty breathing (patient may need to sit upright and lean slightly forward to breathe)
Difficulty swallowing Voice changes (hoarseness)
Tests that may be done include: Blood culture or throat culture Complete blood count (CBC) Neck x-ray
Treatment involves methods to help the person 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)