Croup

WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW:

Croup is an infection that causes the throat and upper airways of the lungs to swell and narrow. It is also called laryngotracheobronchitis. Croup makes it harder for your child to breath. This infection is common in infants and children from 3 months to 3 years of age. Your child may get croup more than once.

CARE AGREEMENT:

You have the right to help plan your child's care. Learn about your child's health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your child's caregivers to decide what care you want for your child.

RISKS:

Croup may cause severe difficulty breathing. Your child may get an extremely high fever and become dehydrated (lose too much body fluid). Without treatment, these complications may become life-threatening.

WHILE YOU ARE HERE:

Informed consent

is a legal document that explains the tests, treatments, or procedures that your child may need. Informed consent means you understand what will be done and can make decisions about what you want. You give your permission when you sign the consent form. You can have someone sign this form for you if you are not able to sign it. You have the right to understand your child's medical care in words you know. Before you sign the consent form, understand the risks and benefits of what will be done to your child. Make sure all of your questions are answered.

Emotional support:

Stay with your child for comfort and support as often as possible while he is in the hospital. Ask another family member or someone close to the family to stay with your child when you cannot be there. Bring items from home that will comfort your child, such as a favorite blanket or toy.

Medicines:

Your child may receive steroids to decrease swelling, allow your child's airway to open, and make it easier to breathe.

Tests:

  • Blood tests will be used to check for infection and the amount of oxygen in your child's blood. The blood can be taken from a vein in your child's hand, arm, or the bend in his elbow. Your child may need to have blood drawn more than once.

  • Nose or throat swabs may be done to find the cause of your child's infection.

  • An ECG (EKG) test records the electrical activity of your child's heart. The machine may be hooked up to a monitor so caregivers can follow your child's heartbeat over time.

  • Pulse oximetry shows how much oxygen is in your child's blood. A cord with a clip or sticky strip is placed on his ear, finger, or toe. The other end of the cord is hooked to a machine.

  • A chest x-ray is a picture of your child's lungs and heart. It is used to look for signs of infection or collapsed lungs.

Treatments:

  • IV fluids may be used to give your child extra fluids to treat or prevent dehydration.

  • Oxygen may help your child breathe easier and feel better. It may be given through an oxygen hood, tent, or nasal prongs.

© 2014 Truven Health Analytics Inc. Information is for End User's use only and may not be sold, redistributed or otherwise used for commercial purposes. All illustrations and images included in CareNotes® are the copyrighted property of A.D.A.M., Inc. or Truven Health Analytics.

The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

Learn more about Croup (Inpatient Care)

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