Epiglotitis

Epiglotitis
This picture depicts a swollen red epiglottis , an endotracheal tube under the epiglottis.(which was inserted to secure the airway)Causative organism is a bacterium called Haemophilus influenzae. Before the widespread use of the Haemophilus influenzae type b vaccine, epiglottitis occurred mainly in young children. Recently, the incidence has decreased among children and increased among adults. Adult epiglottitis is different.Organism identification is less common and the mortality is higher. 15% to 21% of patients require either endotracheal intubation or emergency tracheostomy to secure the airway. The remaining cases can be safely treated with antibiotics. In certain cases intravenous corticosteroid therapy may be of benefit. The most common symptoms are sore throat, odynophagia and muffled voice. Soft-tissue lateral neck radiography shows swollen epiglottis as a thumb.Laryngoscopy under anaesthesia is the most accurate investigation to establish a diagnosis. Prompt recognition of the condition and early airway intervention by intubation or tracheostomy in cases of airway compromise are crucial to avoid a possible fatal outcome.