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Potential for severe airway obstruction from pediatric retropharyngeal abscess

Authors LeRiger MM, Miler V, Tobias JD, Raman VT, Elmaraghy CA, Jatana KR

Received 18 July 2017

Accepted for publication 10 October 2017

Published 23 November 2017 Volume 2017:10 Pages 381—384

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/IMCRJ.S146661

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Dr Colin Mak

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Professor Ronald Prineas

Michelle M LeRiger,1,2 Veronica Miler,3 Joseph D Tobias,3 Vidya T Raman,3 Charles A Elmaraghy,4,5 Kris R Jatana4,5

1Division of Pediatric Anesthesiology, Omaha Children’s Hospital & Medical Center, 2Department of Anesthesiology, University of Nebraska Medical Center, Omaha, NE, 3Department of Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine, 4Department of Pediatric Otolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery, Nationwide Children’s Hospital, 5Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, Wexner Medical Center at Ohio State University, Columbus, OH, USA

Abstract: Retropharyngeal abscesses in the pediatric population can cause severe respiratory distress. We report a rare case of significant airway obstruction in a 14-month-old patient requiring rapid, emergent tracheotomy after attempts at endotracheal intubation by an experienced airway surgeon were unsuccessful. The patient was diagnosed with streptococcal pharyngitis 9 days prior to presentation to our facility and was being treated with amoxicillin. Prompt diagnosis, communication, and appropriate multidisciplinary airway management can lead to successful outcomes even in these severe cases.

Keywords:
pharyngitis, retropharyngeal abscess, emergent tracheotomy, pediatric airway obstruction, respiratory distress

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