The hard part about playing chicken is knowing when to flinch – Bart Mancousco, The Hunt for the Red October
Epiglottitis is often a game of chicken. The great majority of adult patients don't require intubation, so the best management for them is steroid and antibiotic (plus close observation and the ability to intubate if necessary). For these patients, intubation isn't protective – it's dangerous. However, some patients do truly require intubation – which can often be difficult and require cricothyrotomy.
The IBCC chapter is located here.
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