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August 1982

Acute Epiglottitis and Bacteremia With Ampicillin-Resistant Haemophilus influenzae

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Medicine, Division of Infectious Diseases (Drs Gorse and Cesario), and the Division of Otolaryngology and Head and Neck Surgery (Dr Passy), University of California, Irvine-Medical Center, Orange.

Arch Otolaryngol. 1982;108(8):515-516. doi:10.1001/archotol.1982.00790560053016

• Acute epiglottitis in adults occurs more frequently than generally realized. Haemophilus influenzae type b is the major causative agent. While H influenzae resistant to ampicillin sodium has been associated with epiglottitis in children, no adult cases have been reported. We describe a 48-year-old woman with epiglottitis and associated typical rapid onset of sore throat, fever, respiratory distress, and swollen, red supraglottic structures. Blood cultures were positive for β-lactamase—producing, ampicillin-resistant H influenzae. We conclude that H influenzae resistant to ampicillin should be considered when diagnosing and treating adult epiglottitis.

(Arch Otolaryngol 1982;108:515-516)