Epiglottitis: Airway management


In a child presenting with acute epiglottitis, emergent airway management should be of primary concern. Once epiglottitis is suspected, further airway management should be coordinated between the pediatric anesthesiologist, otolaryngologist, and intensivist. A laryngoscope with blades, endotracheal tubes with stylets, and a bronchoscope and otolaryngologist should be available at all times during management. Equipment for fiberoptic bronchoscopy or emergent tracheostomy should be available if direct laryngoscopy is unsuccessful. No airway manipulation should be attempted until the patient is transported to the operating room with pulse-oximeter and oxygen mask.


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