Epiglottitis is an acute inflammation in the supraglottic region of the oropharynx with inflammation of the epiglottis, vallecula, arytenoids, and aryepiglottic folds. In adults, the most common organisms that cause acute epiglottitis areHaemophilus influenzae (25%), followed by H parainfluenzae, Streptococcus pneumoniae, and group A streptococci. Noninfectious causes of epiglottitis are not uncommon and produce similar disease. Epiglottitis is a potentially life-threatening condition that occurs when the epiglottis a small cartilage that covers your windpipe swells, blocking the flow of air into your lungs. A number of factors can cause the epiglottis to swell burns from hot liquids, direct injury to your throat and various infections.
The signs and symptoms of epiglottis are as follows:
• Severe sore throat
• Abnormal, high-pitched sound when breathing in
• Difficulty swallowing Epiglottitis is caused by an infection or an injury.
In the past, a common cause of swelling and inflammation of the epiglottis and surrounding tissues was infection with Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib) bacteria. This is now much less common in developed countries due to Hib immunization in children. If the doctor suspects epiglottitis, the first priority is to ensure that the child's airway is open and that enough oxygen is getting through. A pulse oximeter is a device that estimates blood oxygen levels.
• Clips onto a finger
• Measures an estimation of the saturation of oxygen in your blood If oxygen saturation levels drop too low,child may need help breathing.
Also throat examination, chest or neck x-ray is done for examination.Treatment mainly includes providing sufficient oxygen to the patient through an oxygen mask,by performing intubation,inserting a needle in trachea.
Certain anti-biotics are prescribed to treat the condition.
In India, epiglottitis is an uncommon disease with an incidence in adults of about 1 case per 100,000 per year. Adult epiglottitis is most frequently a disease of men (male-to-female ratio, approximately 3:1), occurring during the fifth decade of life (average age, about 45 y). Globally, epiglottitis is generally more common in nations that do not immunize against H influenzae type b.