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  • Writer's pictureThe Communiqués

Clinical Communiqué Volume 6 Issue 4 December 2019

In this edition

  • Editorial

  • Case #1 Minutes matter

  • Case #2 A precipitous sentence

  • Expert Commentary Acute epiglottitis in adults - An anaesthetist's perspective

  • Expert Commentary Acute epiglottitis - So much more than just a pain in the neck


In this edition, we present two cases of a condition which has the dangerous combination of a missable diagnosis, and a potential for rapid, lethal deterioration. Both cases highlight the very short time in which seemingly benign throat symptoms can progress to fulminant airway catastrophe in adult epiglottitis.

Airway complications, when they occur, are challenging for even the most experienced clinicians. The notion of a previously well person dying suddenly from an airway problem – in the community, in an ambulance, or shortly after arriving at a hospital, is a confronting one for everyone.

Adult epiglottitis is rare, so most clinicians will never face such a patient, but as with other rare and life-threatening conditions, there are important lessons for everyday practice arising from these cases that are universal. Our two expert commentaries provide guidance on the management of adult epiglottitis, from understanding the disease trends, to recognising the potential complications, and safely managing a difficult airway.


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