What's the treatment for croup?Most cases of croup can be safely managed at home, but call your health care provider for guidance, even in the middle of the night. Cool or moist air can bring relief. You might first try bringing the child into a steamy bathroom or outside into the
cool night air. If you have a cool air vaporizer, set it up in the child's bedroom and use it for the next few nights.
Acetaminophen can make the child more comfortable and lower a fever, lessening his or her breathing needs. Avoid cough medicines unless you discuss them with your doctor first. You may want your child to be seen. Steroid medicines can be very effective at promptly relieving the symptoms of croup. Medicated aerosol treatments, if necessary, are also powerful. or immediate symptom relief, epinephrine may be administered as an inhaled aerosol. Effects last for up to two hours, but there is a possibility that symptoms may return. For that reason, the child is kept under supervision for three or more hours. Another effective drug is a glucocorticoid, dexamethasone. This drug requires more time to take effect, but is longer lasting. It can be administered orally or as an injection. Another glucocorticoid, budesonide, has been used outside the United States for treating croup.
Serious illness requires hospitalization. Increasing or persistent breathing difficulty, fatigue, bluish coloration of the skin, or dehydration indicates the need for medical attention or hospitalization. Emergency room treatment usually consists of giving the child oxygen, a special form of epinephrine that is inhaled, and possibly an injection of a steroid called dexamethasone. If the child does not respond to these measures, he or she will be admitted to the hospital.
Aerosolized racemic epinephrine as well as oral dexamethasone (a steroid) are used to help to shrink the upper airway swelling. Oxygen and humidity may be provided in an oxygen tent placed over a crib. A bacterial infection requires antibiotic therapy. ncreasing obstruction of the airway requires intubation (placing a tube through the nose or mouth through the larynx into the main air passage to the lungs). Intravenous fluids are given for dehydration. In some cases, corticosteroids are prescribed.