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August 1982

Acute Epiglottitis and Bacteremia With Ampicillin-Resistant Haemophilus influenzae

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)