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Viral croup: a current perspective

Authors
Journal
Journal of Pediatric Health Care
0891-5245
Publisher
Elsevier
Publication Date
Volume
18
Issue
6
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1016/j.pedhc.2004.08.004
Keywords
  • Original Article
Disciplines
  • Medicine

Abstract

Abstract Viral croup is the most common cause of upper airway obstruction in children 6 months to 6 years of age. Parainfluenza virus accounts for the majority of cases. The disease is characterized by varying degrees of inspiratory stridor, barking cough, and hoarseness because of laryngeal and/or tracheal obstruction. The diagnosis is mainly a clinical one and diagnostic studies usually are not necessary. The management has altered dramatically in the past decade. Good evidence exists to support the routine use of corticosteroid in all children with croup. Intervention at an earlier phase of the illness will reduce the severity of the symptoms and the rates of return to a health care practitioner for additional medical attention, visits to the emergency department, and admission to the hospital. Most children respond to a single, oral dose of dexamethasone. For those who do not tolerate the oral preparation, nebulized budesonide or intramuscular dexamethasone are reasonable alternatives. Nebulized epinephrine should be reserved for patients with moderate to severe croup. Simultaneous administration of corticosteroid and epinephrine reduces the rate of intubation in patients with severe croup and impending respiratory failure.

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