IN THIS ARTICLE
What is the treatment for epiglottitis?
Currently, immediate hospitalization is required whenever the diagnosis of epiglottitis is suspected since the person is in danger of sudden and unpredictable closing of the airway. Doctors must establish a secure way for the person to breathe. Antibiotics may be prescribed to the patient.
Patients should continue taking all antibiotics until the full course is completed. They should keep all follow-up appointments with the doctor. Most people improve significantly before leaving the hospital, so taking the antibiotics and returning to the hospital if there are any problems are the most important parts of follow-up.
How can epiglottitis be prevented?
Prevention of epiglottitis can be achieved with proper vaccination against H. influenza type b (Hib). It is important that children are vaccinated against Hib. Adult vaccination is not routinely recommended, except for people with immune-related medical conditions such as sickle cell anemia, splenectomy, cancers, or other diseases affecting the immune system.
When there is a member of a family with an unvaccinated child under age 4 years of age who is exposed to a person with H influenza epiglottitis, preventive medication such as rifampin (Rifadin) should be given to all household contacts to make sure that both the person with the illness and the rest of the household have the bacteria completely eradicated from their bodies. This prevents formation of a "carrier state" in which a person has the bacteria in the body but is not actively sick. Carriers can still spread the infection to other family members even though they are not ill.
What is the outlook for a person with epiglottitis?
A person with epiglottitis can recover very well if the condition is caught early and treated in time. A majority of people with epiglottitis do well and recover without problems. But if the person was not taken to the hospital early, and was not appropriately diagnosed and treated, the prognosis is poor with the possibilities of prolonged physical handicap and even death.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 7/28/2016
Must Read Articles Related to Epiglottitis
Patient Comments & Reviews
The eMedicineHealth doctors ask about Epiglottitis:
Epiglottitis - Symptoms
What were the symptoms of your epiglottitis?
Epiglottitis - Experience
Please share your experience with epiglottitis.
Epiglottitis - Causes
If known, what caused your epiglottitis?
Epiglottitis - Treatment
How was your epiglottitis treated? Please share your experience.