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Intubation in Epiglottitis

Ralph W. Rucker, MD; G. M. Harrison, MD
JAMA. 1974;230(6):821. doi:10.1001/jama.1974.03240060011003.
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To the Editor.—  The recent article by Bass et al (229:671, 1974) again points vividly to the unequivocal need for early, rapid intervention in epiglottitis to assure a patent airway. For example, in the group that was apparently watched on a pediatric ward with equipment on hand, but without intervention, 3 of 12 patients suffered either death or brain damage. This agrees well with experiences of others,1,2 illustrating the prohibitive mortality risk from watching and waiting, even in a pediatric intensive care unit with surgeons and equipment available.Because of this disastrous experience with delay, it has become the policy of our pediatric pulmonary service to intervene routinely in any child with epiglottitis. Yet, in our hospital as in others, there is a distinct reluctance to examine every croup patient in the operating room with the ear, nose, and throat service ready to operate. As our pediatric house officers are


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