Background: The type of scalding injury known as 'teapot syndrome', where hot liquid is grabbed by the child with the aim of ingestion and falls over a child causing burns on the face, upper thorax and arms, is known to cause peri-oral and facial oedema. Thermal epiglottitis following scalds to face, neck and thorax is rare and can occur even in absence of ingestion of a damaging agent or intraoral burns, Awareness of the possibility of thermal epiglottitis, also in scald burns, is imperative to ensure prompt airway protection. Case presentation: We report the case of a child with thermal epiglottitis after a scalding burn from boiling milk resulting in mixed deep burns of the face, neck and chest, but no history of ingestion. Upon presentation there was a progressive stridor and signs of respiratory distress requiring intubation. Laryngoscopy revealed epiglottis oedema, confirming the diagnosis of thermal epiglottitis. Final extubation took place 5 days after initial burn. Conclusions: Thermal epiglottitis following scalds to face, neck and thorax is rare and can occur even in absence of ingestion and intra-oral damage. Burns to the peri-oral area should raise suspicion of additional damage to oral cavity and supraglottic structures, even in absence of intra-oral injury or initial respiratory distress. Awareness of the occurrence of thermal epiglottitis in absence of intra-oral injury is important to diagnose impending upper airway obstruction requiring intubation.

Additional Metadata
Keywords Airway injury, Burn injury, Thermal epiglottitis
Persistent URL dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12871-018-0665-7, hdl.handle.net/1765/113518
Journal BMC Anesthesiology
Citation
Verhees, V, Ketharanathan, N, Oen, I.M.M.H, Baartmans, M.G.A, & Koopman, J.S.H.A. (2018). Beware of thermal epiglottis! A case report describing 'teapot syndrome'. BMC Anesthesiology, 18(1). doi:10.1186/s12871-018-0665-7