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Epiglottitis Treatments

Treatment

The doctor will first stabilize your airway and then give proper medication depending on the cause. You may also have secondary illnesses that need to be treated depending on the cause of the epiglottitis (eg, blood infections due to Streptococcus ).

If you CAN breathe, you will be closely monitored in the intensive care unit.

If you CANNOT breathe, the options include:

  • Endotracheal intubation—A breathing tube is inserted through the nose or mouth and fed into the airway. This can only be done if the airway is not swollen shut and should be done by an experienced physician.
  • Tracheotomy —A breathing tube is inserted directly into the trachea (airway). This is done if the airway is swollen shut, or if the airway is too swollen to do an endotracheal intubation.

After the airway is stabilized, you will be monitored and started on medications, including:

  • Antibiotics—Antibiotics given through the veins (IV) help kill the organism causing the infection and swelling. At first, a variety of antibiotics may be given if the identity of the germ is not yet known. Once the laboratory test results are known, a specific antibiotic can be given.

Once swelling decreases, the breathing tube can be removed. Usually, there are not any lasting side effects of epiglottitis, and the outlook is good.

If you are diagnosed with epiglottitis, follow your doctor's instructions.

Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Copyright © 2019 EBSCO Publishing All rights reserved.

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