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Case Reports

Open Access Special Issue

Early recognition and critical management of adult epiglottitis in the emergency department: a case report and review of the literature

  • Pavarit Piyachon1
  • Korsin Laohavisudhi1
  • Wachira Wongtanasarasin1
  • Krongkarn Sutham1

1Department of Emergency Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, Chiang Mai University, 50200 Chiang Mai, Thailand

DOI: 10.22514/sv.2021.072 Vol.18,Issue 2,March 2022 pp.154-158

Submitted: 19 February 2021 Accepted: 17 March 2021

Published: 08 March 2022

(This article belongs to the Special Issue Efficacy of Medication Administered During Adult Cardiac Arrest)

*Corresponding Author(s): Krongkarn Sutham E-mail:


Acute epiglottitis was primarily considered a disease of the pediatric population. However, it has constantly been a report of a certain number of adult cases. Death by airway obstruction is caused by delayed diagnosis and untimely invasive airway management. In this report, we presented a case of a 24-year-old male who presented at the Emergency Department with a progressive sore throat and high-graded fever for one day. After investigations, he was diagnosed with acute epiglottitis and was managed accordingly, with otolaryngologist consultation. His conditions improved after airway management and a course of antibiotic treatment during hospital admission. We reviewed the relevant works of literature regarding the clinical presentations and, notably, radiographic findings to aid the diagnosis of acute epiglottitis in adults. This case underlines the importance of clinical suspicions in cases with consistent symptoms and the excellent utility of lateral neck radiography for the prompt diagnosis of this life-threatening entity.


Epiglottitis; Airway management; Emergency department

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Pavarit Piyachon,Korsin Laohavisudhi,Wachira Wongtanasarasin,Krongkarn Sutham. Early recognition and critical management of adult epiglottitis in the emergency department: a case report and review of the literature. Signa Vitae. 2022. 18(2);154-158.


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