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Acute epiglottitis in adults

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Acute epiglottitis is not rare in adults, despite previously being described as a childhood condition, say Hong Kong researchers.

They identified 106 cases over seven years at an acute hospital. A total of 21 patients had co-morbidities, with type 2 diabetes being the most common. Five patients had a history of nasopharyngeal carcinoma and three patients had a previous history of acute epiglottitis.

The majority of patients presented with sore throat as their major complaint, the authors said. A combination of cefotaxime and metronidazole was the most common empirical antibiotic regimen prescribed.

‘In general, the prognosis is good with antimicrobial therapy, close monitoring and selective airway intervention,’ they said.

Emergency Medicine Journal (2008) 25: 253-255

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