5 Epiglottitis Nursing Care Plans


Epiglottitis is the acute inflammation of the epiglottis and surrounding laryngeal area with the associated edema that needs an emergency situation as the supraglottic area becomes obstructed. Commonly caused by Haemophilus influenzae type B, it affects children ages 2 to 7 years.

Children experiencing epiglottis typically appear ill with a high fever, sudden sore throat, muffled voice, rapid respirations, and prefers on sitting upright with the chin extended and mouth open. Drooling is common due to dysphagia and respiratory distress is progressive as the obstruction advances. Once epiglottitis is suspected, no examination of the oropharynx is initiated until emergency equipment and personnel are readily available.

The child may need endotracheal intubation or tracheostomy for some cases of severe respiratory distress. Onset is rapid (over 4-12 hours) and breathing pattern usually re-established within 72 hours following intubation and antimicrobial regimen.

Nursing Care Plans

Nursing care planning goals of a child with epiglottitis consists in providing the child with immediate emergency care to avoid the development of further complications. Other goals for the client with epiglottitis are maintaining airway patency, achieving thermoregulation, relieving anxiety, conserving energy to decrease oxygen requirements, enhancing parental/caregiver knowledge and absence of complications.

Here are five (5) nursing care plans (NCP) and nursing diagnosis for epiglottitis:

  1. Ineffective Airway Clearance
  2. Hyperthermia
  3. Anxiety
  4. Deficient Knowledge (Preventive Care)
  5. Risk For Suffocation

Deficient Knowledge (Preventive Care)

Deficient Knowledge: Absence or deficiency of cognitive information related to specific topic.

May be related to

  • The promotion of health-seeking behaviors within the hospital and/or home to prevent complications and speed recovery

Possibly evidenced by

  • Parents asking information about caregiving and preventive actions; child readmitted to hospital with complications

Desired Outcomes

  • Parents will verbalize an understanding of the condition of the child and its preventive care.
Nursing InterventionsRationale
Educate parents about the signs and symptoms of respiratory distress such as nasal flaring, retractions, cyanosis, increasing respiratory rate and increased pulse.Enables parents to gain knowledge in order to seek immediate medical intervention as necessary.
Educate parents on the administration of
prescribed medications.
Promotes an understanding that may enhance consistent and proper medication administration and identification of untoward side effects.
Teach parents about the importance of
sufficient rest and proper nutrition, to avoid illness.
Prevents secondary infections; promotes body’s own natural defenses.
Encourage and teach parents to render care for the hospitalized child at a level they are comfortable with and within the
constraints of essential treatments.
Promotes parental identity and control; may reduce anxiety and stress.
Educate parents, child, and family members, as applicable, on good handwashing techniques and the proper disposal of soiled tissues, and so forth.Avoids transmission of illness.
Assess parents’ understanding of teaching and reinforce as needed.Provides information about further teaching needs.
Grant praise for efforts.Positive reinforcement enhance self-esteem and pride in caring for the child properly.

See Also

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