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Epiglottitis

Question:

Please share your experience with epiglottitis. Submit Your Comment

Comment from: Sad, 75 or over Male (Caregiver) Published: May 22

My 87 year old father was being treated with clindamycin for an abscessed tooth. After 3 days he began to be hoarse until he couldn’t speak at all. I went to check on him and he was not himself, I called 911 and he died before they arrived. It was epiglottitis.

Comment from: Sandra, 65-74 Male (Caregiver) Published: November 16

My husband died 3 months ago from acute epiglottitis. His sore throat started two days earlier. The next day I urged him to call his doctor but he did not want to bother him. At 4:30 am the next morning he woke me up and asked me to take him to the hospital as he was struggling to breathe. He was treated right away with antibiotics and steroids. But shortly after he had a crisis and attempts to intubate him and a tracheotomy failed. He died less than two hours after arriving at the hospital.

Comment from: Sewobsessed, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: October 18

My scare with epiglottitis was back in 1990 before doctors had instant use of all these computers and medical testing. I was 24. I had woken up with a sore throat but thought nothing of it since it wasn’t that bad, just a bit bothersome and scratchy. By the next morning the pain was gone, but when I went to drink my coffee it forcefully ejected itself up into my sinuses and out my nose instead of down my throat when I swallowed. I’d taken nursing classes and knew better than to panic. My husband was laughing because he didn’t understand the gravity of the situation I was in at the moment and thought I was being silly and messing around until I just said, emergency room (ER), now! I ended up with a team of young doctors who were delighted to see anything interesting come through the ER department. I was not happy being treated like a lab specimen and being made to try and swallow water three or four times because they’d never seen anything like it before and had no idea where to start on a diagnosis. I had x-rays taken that showed the epiglottitis, but back then they had no idea what it was they were looking at. I was put into ICU for 3 days with a tracheostomy kit practically on my lap while they tried to figure it out. Finally, with a diagnosis, I was given IV medicines and sent home 3 days later. Back then it was such a rare thing the doctors were congratulating me for joining one 80 year old lady in their medical book. Now we’re lucky enough to be hooked to a fantastic world of technology right at our fingertips. All in all, I’m very lucky to be alive from that escapade! And terrified every time I have a sore throat.

Comment from: Survivor, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: May 09

Eight years ago I almost died from epiglottitis, owing to the fact that no one realized what it was until it was almost too late. I had a bad cold and sore throat, so remained in bed all day. Friday evening I realized I had problems breathing and swallowing, so contacted emergency services. The ambulance came but was in no hurry to get to the hospital, as the ambulance personnel decided there was no need. I was seen by doctors in the emergency department, but was then placed in a room with other patients waiting to see a doctor. Luckily, my children both dropped what they were doing that Friday night and drove to the hospital. I had been given a bowl to spit in as by then I could not swallow my own saliva. A while after they arrived I had an attack of not being able to breathe. I was then rushed back to the emergency section where I had another much worse attack and actually thought I was going to die. I was then intubated and don't remember anything until I woke up in another hospital Monday morning. I had been placed in an artificial coma. It was obvious that the hospital staff at the first hospital did not realize how serious my condition was, or that it was a case of epiglottis. I have recovered fully, but am prone to sore throats. I tell everyone who is interested about my experience and what to watch out for regarding symptoms. Especially not being able to swallow your own spit! As a further comment, I haven't been able to find if I am now immune from epiglottis. It would be very helpful if you could print a comment on this at some later date.

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