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Low incidence of children with acute epiglottis after introduction of vaccination

Mette Nagstrup Hermansen1, Jesper Hvass Schmidt2, 4, Andrea H. Krug3, Knud Larsen4 & Søren Kristensen4

14. apr. 2014
2 min.


The aim of this retrospective case series is to describe the epidemiology, symptoms and findings of acute epiglottitis in hospitalized patients after the introduction of the Haemophilus influenzae type B (HIB) vaccine and to identify any symptoms or findings predictive of a prolonged hospital stay.


Medical records on all patients discharged with the International Classification of Diseases 10 diagnostic code DJ051, acute epiglottitis, from January 1997 to December 2012 were reviewed. A total of 41 patients were identified.


In all, 37 patients were included, only one of whom was a child. The dominating symptom was a sore throat (97.2%).
A hoarse voice was found in 20 patients (58.8%), and 14 patients (40.0%) were drooling. Thirteen patients (36.1%) had trouble breathing. Nine patients (24.3%) were diagnosed with abscess. Two adults tested positive for HIB. The average length of hospitalization was 6.1 days. The average stay in the intensive care unit was 1.2 days for patients who were not intubated and 4.0 days for patients who were intubated or tracheotomised. Six patients (16.2%) were intubated. One patient (2.7%) was directly tracheotomised.


Our study shows that the incidence of adult acute epiglottis
seems to remain unchanged compared with a previous investigation from the same geographical region. The disease is potentially life-threatening, and intubation or tracheostomy was required in 18.9% patients in this study. Respiratory distress had the largest impact on the length of hospitalization.


Not relevant.


Not relevant.

CORRESPONDENCE: Mette Nagstrup Hermansen. E-mail:

CONFLICTS OF INTEREST: Disclosure forms provided by the authors are available with the full text of this article at

REFERENCE: Dan Med J 2014;61(4):A4788