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Am Fam Physician. 2011 May 1;83(9):1067-73.

Croup: an overview.

Author information

1
Meharry Medical College, Nashville, TN 37208, USA. rzoorob@mmc.edu

Abstract

Croup is a common illness responsible for up to 15 percent of emergency department visits due to respiratory disease in children in the United States. Croup symptoms usually start like an upper respiratory tract infection, with low-grade fever and coryza followed by a barking cough and various degrees of respiratory distress. In most children, the symptoms subside quickly with resolution of the cough within two days. Croup is often caused by viruses, with parainfluenza virus (types 1 to 3) as the most common. However, physicians should consider other diagnoses, including bacterial tracheitis, epiglottitis, foreign body aspiration, peritonsillar abscess, retropharyngeal abscess, and angioedema. Humidification therapy has not been proven beneficial. A single dose of dexamethasone (0.15 to 0.60 mg per kg usually given orally) is recommended in all patients with croup, including those with mild disease. Nebulized epinephrine is an accepted treatment in patients with moderate to severe croup. Most episodes of croup are mild, with only 1 to 8 percent of patients with croup requiring hospital admission and less than 3 percent of admitted patients requiring intubation.

PMID:
21534520
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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