How must acute epiglottitis be managed?

  1. Allow the child to adopt a position that he prefers to keep the airway open.
  2. Move the child urgently to a facility where intubation or tracheotomy under general anaesthetic is possible. Thereafter, intensive care is needed to make sure the artificial airway remains open.
  3. Intravenous chloramphenicol or cefotaxime to treat the epiglottitis and septicaemia.

With the correct antibiotics, the swelling of the epiglottis decreases and the child can usually be extubated after 48 hours.

Acute epiglottitis is a medical emergency.

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