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Key words: Croup, Treatment, Randomised controlled trials, Glucocorticoids, Adrenaline,
Viral croup is the most common cause of upper airway obstruction in children from 6 months to 6 years of age. Parainfluenza virus accounts for the majority of cases. More than 80% of children have mild symptoms and in approximately 60% to 95% of children, the symptoms disappear within 2 and 5 days, respectively. Based on the results of systematic review, glucocorticoid treatment was associated with an improvement in the Westley score at 6 hours and at 12 hours. Fewer return visits and/or (re)admissions occurred in patients treated with glucocorticoids (relative risk 0.50; 0.36 to 0.70). The setting, severity of croup, route of administration (oral or nebulised) and dose, and study quality, did not influence the effectiveness of treatment. Nebulised adrenaline should be reserved for patients with moderate to severe croup. Simultaneous administration of glucocorticoid and adrenaline reduces the rate of intubation in patients with severe croup. Mist/humidified air provides no additional symptom improvement.
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