JOURNAL ARTICLE
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Adult Epiglottitis: A Case Series.

INTRODUCTION: Emergency Departments are inundated by patients with respiratory illness during the winter months. Emergency physicians are required to quickly identify critically ill patients among the large volume of patients with mild upper respiratory illness. Among these life-threatening conditions is acute epiglottitis.

CASE PRESENTATION: We report a rare series of four adult patients who presented to our Emergency Department during a period of only one week in April 2015 and were ultimately diagnosed with acute epiglottitis. Three of the patients improved with conservative measures and were observed in the intensive care unit. One patient required an emergent tracheostomy.

DISCUSSION: This series of patients is unique in that all four patients presented to a single Emergency Department within a few days of each other and, despite a myriad of presenting chief complaints, the patients were eventually found to have the same potentially life-threatening diagnosis.These cases reinforce the variability of presenting symptoms and physical examination findings that can occur in patients with epiglottitis. They also highlight clinical findings and adjunctive testing that can help identify patients who would most benefit from intervention.

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