‘Thick’ or ‘hot potato’ voice (not hoarse, croaky voice)
Inability to swallow more than saliva or a sip or water
Pain much worse on one side than the other (+/- otalgia)
To differentiate it from tonsillitis, a quinsy will have many of the following signs:
There is usually a degree of trismus
On the affected side, the anterior arch will be pushed medially
On the affected side, the palate will bulge towards you ie the normally concave palate becomes convex
The uvula may or may not be pushed away from the affected side
On the affected side, the mucosa of the arch and palate may look angrily erythematous
A swollen tonsil is NOT a quinsy; a swollen tonsil is a swollen tonsil
How to drain a peritonsillar abscess in the ED…it’s not rocket science and your patient will love you for the pain relief
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