What is the prognosis of croup?

Updated: Oct 09, 2019
  • Author: Germaine L Defendi, MD, MS, FAAP; Chief Editor: Russell W Steele, MD  more...
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The prognosis for croup is excellent, and recovery is almost always complete. The majority of patients can be managed successfully as outpatients, without the need for inpatient hospital care. Hospitalization rates vary widely among communities, ranging from 1.5-30% and typically averaging 2-5%. Throughout the 1990s, US hospitalizations averaged approximately 41,000 per year but appear to have subsequently decreased. Fewer than 2% of hospitalized children require intubation. Current use of steroids and nebulized epinephrine for treatment of patients with croup may thwart the need to intubate. [6] A 10-year study found a mortality rate of less than 0.5% in intubated patients, although overall exact mortality is not known. [7]

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