JOURNAL ARTICLE
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Airway management in pediatric epiglottitis: a national perspective.

OBJECTIVES: The purpose of this study was to describe current demographics and resource utilization in the treatment of pediatric epiglottitis.

STUDY DESIGN: Case series from a national database.

SUBJECTS AND METHODS: The Kids' Inpatient Database was systematically searched to extract patients under 19 years old admitted with a diagnosis of epiglottitis and undergoing an airway intervention.

RESULTS: Three hundred forty-two sampled admissions were for epiglottitis; 40 of these patients were under the age of 19 and had an airway intervention (intubation or tracheotomy). On average, patients were 4.3 years old (SD = 6.0 years). The average length of stay was 15.6 days (SD = 33.9 and range = 0-199) with average total charges of $74,931 (SD = $163,387, range = $3342-$938,512). Multivariate analysis revealed that admission to a children's facility, admission other than via the emergency room, and nonemergent admission were associated with increased total charges. Twenty-two states reported an admission for pediatric epiglottitis that required airway intervention.

CONCLUSIONS: In our sample, only 40 patients were identified who were under the age of 19 years and required an airway intervention for the treatment of epiglottitis. Epiglottitis is a rare, expensive, and protracted disease to treat in the postvaccine era. The unique nature of this disease has implications for training future surgeons on proper management of this potentially fatal disease.

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