Epiglottitis is an emergency. If you think your child has this infection, seek emergency help immediately. Never try to look down the throat of a person who is suspected of having epiglottitis. Pressing on the tongue to look down the throat may cause the epiglottis to swell even more and further block the airway.
X-rays of the neck sometimes can show an enlarged epiglottis, but the time needed to take the X-rays may delay other important tests and treatment.
After doctors in the hospital confirm that the epiglottis is inflamed, the airway is kept open using a breathing tube. Blood tests and/or throat swabs are done to determine which organism is causing the infection.