Viral Croup - Article

ABSTRACT: Viral croup is the most common form of airway obstruction in children six months to six years of age. The frightening nature of croup often prompts parents and caregivers to seek physician consultation. For children with mild croup, symptomatic care and mist therapy may be all that is necessary. Epinephrine has been used for decades to treat more severe cases of croup, but recent meta-analyses have found that glucocorticoid use is associated with shorter hospital stays, improvement in croup scores, and less use of epinephrine. Studies have shown that treatment with 0.6 mg per kg of oral dexamethasone is as effective as intramuscular dexamethasone or 2 mg of nebulized budesonide. Oral dexamethasone in dosages as low as 0.15 mg per kg also may be effective. While more studies are needed to establish guidelines, oral dexamethasone can be used to treat mild to moderate croup with close follow-up and instructions for further care, if needed.

Glucocorticoids for Treatment of Croup - Cochrane for Clinicians

Humidified Air for Croup? - Cochrane for Clinicians

Croup: An Overview - Article

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.

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