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What is epiglottitis?

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Epiglottitis is a medical emergency that may result in death if not treated quickly. The epiglottis is a flap of tissue at the base of the tongue that keeps food from going into the trachea, or windpipe, during swallowing. When it gets infected or inflamed, it can obstruct, or close off, the windpipe, which may be fatal unless promptly treated.

From: Epiglottitis WebMD Medical Reference

Author: Gerald E Maloney, Jr, DO, Attending Physician, Clinical Instructor of Emergency Medicine, Department of Emergency Medicine, John Stroger Hospital of Cook County. Coauthor(s): William R Fraser, DO, Associate Clinical Professor, Department of Emergency Medicine, Ohio University College of Osteopathic Medicine; Program Director, Department of Emergency Medicine, Doctors Hospital. Editors: Marian Gambrell, MD, Clinical Assistant Professor, Department of Emergency Medicine, St Lukes-Roosevelt Hospital Center, Columbia University; Francisco Talavera, PharmD, PhD, Senior Pharmacy Editor, eMedicine; James S Cohen, MD, Consulting Staff, James Cohen, PC.



Epiglottitis from eMedicineHealth  

Reviewed by Sabrina Felson on October 16, 2017

Author: Gerald E Maloney, Jr, DO, Attending Physician, Clinical Instructor of Emergency Medicine, Department of Emergency Medicine, John Stroger Hospital of Cook County. Coauthor(s): William R Fraser, DO, Associate Clinical Professor, Department of Emergency Medicine, Ohio University College of Osteopathic Medicine; Program Director, Department of Emergency Medicine, Doctors Hospital. Editors: Marian Gambrell, MD, Clinical Assistant Professor, Department of Emergency Medicine, St Lukes-Roosevelt Hospital Center, Columbia University; Francisco Talavera, PharmD, PhD, Senior Pharmacy Editor, eMedicine; James S Cohen, MD, Consulting Staff, James Cohen, PC.



Epiglottitis from eMedicineHealth  

Reviewed by Sabrina Felson on October 16, 2017

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What are the most common symptoms of epiglottitis?

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