While conditions like luetic or diphtheric laryngitis are no longer seen, occasional cases of acute epiglottitis will be seen in the medical examiner's office. Most people think of this as a disease of young children. Increasingly, however, it has become a disease of adults.61,62 With acute epiglottitis, there is always the potential for sudden fatal airway obstruction, which can occur extremely rapidly. The individual may have very minor symptoms such as a sore throat, difficulty swallowing, and hoarse speech. From there, the patient can rapidly develop airway obstruction, even while talking to a physician. Acute epiglottitis is often a medical emergency, requiring immediate tracheostomy or insertion of an endotracheal tube if the individual begins to develop acute airway obstruction.

H. influenzae has traditionally been the most common cause of this condition in both children and adults. In the last decade, there have been significant changes in the epidemiology of epiglottitis, with its now occurring almost exclusively in adults, and with a lower incidence of H. influenzae infection.61,62 Since the introduction of H. influenzae vaccination in Sweden in 1992-1993, there has been a >90% reduction in the incidence of acute epiglottitis in the youngest age group.62

Other causes for obstruction of the larynx by natural disease are extremely rare. Occasionally, large numbers of polyps combined with sudden edema due to temporary obstruction by the polyps may cause death. One case the authors saw involved an individual with an undiagnosed squamous cell carcinoma of the larynx that virtually occluded the airway. The individual had had symptoms, but refused to see a physician, when suddenly he developed edema, which completely closed off the airway, and died.

How To Reduce Acne Scarring

How To Reduce Acne Scarring

Acne is a name that is famous in its own right, but for all of the wrong reasons. Most teenagers know, and dread, the very word, as it so prevalently wrecks havoc on their faces throughout their adolescent years.

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