Respiratory System and Diseases

Topics: Haemophilus influenzae, Pneumonia, Epiglottitis Pages: 2 (389 words) Published: April 30, 2013
Epiglottitis is an inflammation of the epiglottis , the flap at the base of the tongue that keeps food from going into the trachea. Due to its place in the airway, swelling of this structure can interfere with breathing, and constitutes a medical emergency. Infection can cause the epiglottis to obstruct or completely close off the windpipe. It can be controted with medican and vaccine (advent of the hib) but it will not go completely away. Epiglottitis involves bacterial infection of the epiglottis, most often caused by Haemophilus influenzae type B, although some cases are attributable to Streptococcus pneumoniae, Staphylococcus aureus, ,Haemophilus influenzae, and Moraxella catarrhalis Epiglottitis commonly affects children, and it is associated with fever, difficulty in swallowing, drooling, hoarseness of voice, and typically stridor. Stridor is a sign of upper airways obstruction and is a surgical emergency. The child often appears acutely ill, anxious, and has very quiet shallow breathing with the head held forward, insisting on sitting up in bed. The early symptoms are insidious but rapidly progressive, and swelling of the throat may lead to cyanosis and asphyxiation. Epiglottitis is an airway emergency and intubation is required initially. Since the introduction of the Hemophilus influenzae (Hib) vaccination in many Western countries, childhood incidence has decreased while adult incidence has remained the same; the disease is becoming relatively more common in adults than children. Modern cases in adults are most typically seen among abusers of crack cocaine, and have a subacute presentation. irritate the epiglottis with the laryngoscope, causing the epiglottis to close off completely and forcing the use of a surgical airway opening (cricothyrotomy). Most children can be managed by keeping lights low and the child calm and in a position of comfort. Intubation may still become necessary if the child begins to rapidly decompensate and show signs of...
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