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Bacterial Tracheitis

By

Rajeev Bhatia

, MD, Phoenix Children's Hospital

Last full review/revision Jul 2020| Content last modified Jul 2020
Click here for the Professional Version

Bacterial tracheitis is a serious infection of the windpipe (trachea) caused by bacteria.

Diagnosis of Bacterial Tracheitis

  • Laryngoscopy

  • Neck x-rays

A doctor bases the diagnosis of bacterial tracheitis on symptoms.

To confirm the diagnosis, a doctor examines the throat with a thin viewing tube (laryngoscope). X-rays Plain X-Rays X-rays are high-energy radiation waves that can penetrate most substances (to varying degrees). In very low doses, x-rays are used to produce images that help doctors diagnose disease. In high... read more often are taken of the neck to show the abnormalities that distinguish bacterial tracheitis from croup.

Treatment of Bacterial Tracheitis

  • Endotracheal intubation

  • Antibiotics

With treatment, most children recover completely.

Very ill children require endotracheal intubation. The tube keeps the airway from swelling shut.

Intravenous antibiotics are given to treat the infection.

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