How is the airway monitored in stable patients with epiglottitis?

Updated: Apr 28, 2020
  • Author: Sandra G Gompf, MD, FACP, FIDSA; Chief Editor: Jeter (Jay) Pritchard Taylor, III, MD  more...
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Patients without signs of airway compromise, respiratory difficulty, stridor, or drooling, and who have only mild swelling on laryngoscopy, may be managed without immediate airway intervention by close monitoring in the intensive care unit (ICU). Because of the rapidity with which airway obstruction can occur in these patients, repeat serial evaluations of airway patency and maintenance of a low clinical threshold for airway placement are indicated.

Watch for air leaks around the endotracheal tube.

Laryngoscopy is recommended before extubation. An ear, nose, and throat (ENT) specialist and an anesthesiologist should be immediately available.

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