How should a medical exam of a child with croup and significant respiratory distress be conducted?

Updated: Oct 18, 2018
  • Author: Germaine L Defendi, MD, MS, FAAP; Chief Editor: Russell W Steele, MD  more...
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Answer

Any infant/child who presents with significant respiratory distress/complaints with stridor at rest must have a thorough medical evaluation to ensure the patency of the airway and maintenance of effective oxygenation and ventilation. Young children should be kept as comfortable as possible, allowing him or her to remain in a parent's arms and avoiding unnecessary painful interventions that may cause agitation, respiratory distress, and lead to increased oxygen requirements. Persistent crying increases oxygen demands, and respiratory muscle fatigue can worsen the airway obstruction.


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