(Pseudo) Krupp – fright in the night?

(Pseudo) Krupp – fright in the night?

Parents who have experienced a croup attack with shortness of breath in their child will not soon forget it. And, of course, afraid of recurrence. Here you can find out how you can help your child quickly in the event of a seizure. What is  real about  real Krupp and  wrong  about pseudo-Krupp? Or do both terms mean the same thing? There is a real confusion of terms surrounding Krupp.

The explanation

So-called  real croup  is a severe form of diphtheria that primarily affects the larynx. Swelling of the mucous membrane leads to narrowing of the entrance to the trachea with shortness of breath and attacks of suffocation, which are accompanied by violent, barking  coughing  .

The term  pseudocroup  – which means something like “wrong” croup – was created to distinguish the nocturnal shortness of breath in children from the diphtheria croup described. Thanks to early vaccinations in infancy, diphtheria has almost disappeared today. So that the pseudocroup is now often referred to as croup or croup syndrome.

What is pseudocroup?

Pseudocroup is a disease in which the mucous membrane of the larynx becomes inflamed and swells, usually below the vocal cords. It occurs particularly frequently in small children between the ages of 18 months and six years. At this age, the larynx is still very narrow and the mucous membrane reacts particularly strongly to acute inflammation. Due to the swelling, the gap becomes even narrower and threatens to close.

Pseudocroup is usually triggered by cold viruses. This is why it occurs mainly in the cold-intensive seasons of autumn and winter. Environmental influences such as wet and cold  weather , air pollution and  passive smoking  also promote the disease. Rarely, however, there can be an allergic cause or bacteria are involved.

What are the symptoms?

A simple cold often precedes an attack   . When a croup attack does occur, it happens very suddenly and without warning; mostly at night. The child is plagued by attacks of severe, barking coughing, his voice is  hoarse , and breathing in is made much more difficult. The breath sounds rattling, hissing, or whistling.

The child has shortness of breath to the point of fear of suffocation and is therefore very restless. This restlessness increases the already reduced oxygen intake. Due to the lack of oxygen, lips and fingernails can turn blue and a general pallor can occur.

First aid in case of an attack

  • Take your child in your arms, soothe and rock them.
  • Take him to the open window or onto the balcony (even in winter).
  • Don’t let the child breathe any more dry, dusty air (switch off the heating). Cool, damp air is better; it causes the mucous membranes to swell. For example, run cold water in the  shower  or hang up damp towels in the children’s room.
  • The child should drink plenty of water (sip water at room temperature).
  • Store it with your torso slightly elevated.
  • If available, give the medication prescribed by the doctor (!) (e.g. cortisone suppositories or epinephrine spray).

When to the doctor?

If you have a slight attack of croup, you will soon see an improvement with the measures mentioned. If this was the first attack, you should make an appointment with your doctor soon to stock up on emergency medication for a possible next attack. Children who have had one attack of croup are also prone to have more.

In the case of more severe attacks, if  there is  still shortness of breath despite the administration of cortisone , you must  call an emergency doctor.

What complications can occur?

The pseudocroup is usually harmless. However, it can spread to the middle ear, trachea, or lungs. Additional bacterial colonization can lead to  pneumonia  .

Can you prevent croup attacks?

As a general measure, you should ensure a healthy and balanced diet and   train your child’s immune system through sufficient exercise in the fresh air. Children who have had seizures before should always have emergency medication in the house.

A good way to prevent this is with an air humidifier, which keeps the air in the room moist during the cold season. Parents should also make sure that there is no smoking in the apartment.

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *