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Epiglottitis (cont.)

When to Seek Medical Care

Epiglottitis is a medical emergency. Someone who is suspected of having epiglottitis should be taken to the hospital. Any signs of difficulty in breathing should be reason enough to call 911 to take the person to a hospital's emergency department for evaluation by a doctor.

If the following signs and symptoms are present, an individual should go directly to a hospital's emergency department:

Sore throat associated with:

  • Muffled voice
  • Fever
  • Inability to swallow
  • Fast heartbeat
  • Irritability
  • Drooling
  • Respiratory distress characterized by shortness of breath, rapid shallow breathing, very ill-looking appearance, upright posturing with tendency to lean forward, and stridor (high-pitched sound when breathing in)
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 5/26/2016
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Epiglottitis, also termed supraglottitis or epiglottiditis, is an inflammation of structures above the insertion of the glottis.

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