Since the discovery of antitoxin, perhaps the most thought and judgment in diphtheria treatment is required in handling the laryngeal type, which gives a much higher death rate than diphtheria infection in the upper air-passages. Laryngeal diphtheria occurs most frequently in children under 10 years of age and may develop at any time of the year; more cases, however, are seen during the winter and spring seasons.
The immediate complications in diphtheria of the upper air-passages are usually of minor consequence in comparison with those of the laryngeal type. Here serious complications frequently occur early and may give the first indication for calling medical assistance. The physician usually finds conditions which demand his best judgment and immediate action. Symptoms of obstruction of varied intensity frequently occur early, and severe dyspnea may be preceded by few prodromal symptoms. Dyspnea occurs in direct ratio to the aperture of the glottis, and is
SHUTT CH. LARYNGEAL DIPHTHERIA EXPERIENCES. JAMA. 1910;LIV(6):456-458. doi:10.1001/jama.1910.92550320009002h