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Adult epiglottitis: an under-recognized, life-threatening condition.

Epiglottitis in the adult can be fatal and should be treated with the same degree of concern and suspicion in respect of airway patency as in children. We present three cases of adult epiglottitis in which the airway was lost prior to or during the intervention of an anaesthetist. We suggest that an emphasis on conservative management is distracting and belies the serious nature of this disease.

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