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Antitussives act on the cough-control center in the medulla to suppress the cough reflex; if the cough is nonproductive and irritating, an antitussive may be taken.
Acute epiglottitis and associated upper airway obstruction has significant morbidity and mortality and may cause respiratory arrest and death.
An infant with a condition called tracheobronchomalacia was saved by doctors by 3D-printing a tracheal splint which would support the weakened airway. Tracheobronchomalacia manifests with dynamic airway collapse and respiratory insufficiency.