A 38-year-old member asked:
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what is an epiglottitis spasm?

2 doctor answers
Dr. Malaika Witter Hewitt
22 years experience ENT and Head and Neck Surgery
Laryngeal spasm: Epiglottitis occurs when an infection by a bacteria called hemophilus influenza , type b, causes severe swelling of the epiglottis, with the potential for obstructing the airway just below it. The "spasm" is actually of the muscles associated with the vocal cords, and this is known as laryngeal spasm or laryngospasm. The epiglottis itself does not spasm.
Answered on Oct 23, 2017
Dr. James Ferguson
45 years experience Pediatrics
Flap snaps shut: Normally your epiglottis (eg) covers your airway when you swallow food or liquids.This prevents stuff from entering your lungs & causing pneumonia. If a child has an infected eg, they usually sit up & try not to swallow their own spit. They often sound hoarse & look afraid. If you make the mistake (parent or md) of forcing them to lay down, the eg can spasm shut & breathing can be impossible.
Answered on Sep 4, 2018
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