False croup: symptoms and treatment in children

What false croup: symptoms and treatment

A hoarse, ragged breathing, barking cough, dyspnea, rales in the lungs — all these signs in a child, especially at night, may indicate the presence of dangerous and serious diseases, colloquially called false croup. What is it?

The acute stenosing laryngotracheitis — the scientific name of the disease often appears suddenly, in the background of almost complete absence of the initial symptoms and accompanied by severe swelling of the mucous membranes of the larynx. The main aspect in the treatment of the disease is the timely provision of medical care, lack of which threatens severe complications.

Main causes and pathogenesis

As mentioned above, false croup is characterized as an inflammatory process that attacks the upper region of the respiratory tract and causes swelling of the larynx, due to which patients have attacks of acute cough accompanied by suffocation. The disease most affected infants, but in some cases it may be diagnosed in adults.

There is a difference that divides, depending on the Genesis of the disease such as true and false croup. In the first case, the main cause of stenosing laryngotracheitis is diphtheria. As for the second, here, as major agents of inflammatory process are other viruses and bacteria: pertussis, influenza and SARS, and others.

The main difference from the croup false croup is as follows: primarily, the disease develops on the background of diseases of an infectious nature or manifested as a complication after the completion of the recovery process.

For the disease characterized by the appearance of stenosis of the larynx, which is caused by the development of inflammation in the upper respiratory tract, as well as the accumulation of large amounts of viscous mucus. In turn, this provokes the pathology of obstructive symptom, that is, simply, strangulation, caused by disorders of admission of air into the lungs, resulting in deteriorating the nutrition of organs and tissues.

Oxygen starvation, which leads to severe brain dysfunction, the blood supply and Central nervous system is one of the most dangerous consequences of the disease, known as false croup. The symptoms and treatment in children, in order to avoid occurrence of the specified pathology, should be made immediately, when the first manifestation of characteristic symptoms.

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The clinical picture

The clinical picture of the disease can vary depending on the leading to its development cause. False croup in children is usually diagnosed when the following main symptoms:

  • A slight increase in body temperature. However, this symptom is manifested only in those cases when the disease occurs on the background of the flu, or other viral infections.
  • Difficulty breathing due to narrowing of the upper airway during inspiration, often heard wheezing.
  • The bouts of severe coughing, which is when the disease is also known as the heckling, due to the characteristic sounds made by the patient.
  • Hoarse voice due to edema of the larynx and vocal cords, respectively.
  • The presence of rales in the lung area, which is noticeable even when listening in the absence of a stethoscope.

Stage of development of the disease

False croup in adults as well as children, can be divided into four main subgroups depending on the degree of development of the stenosis, i.e. abnormal narrowing of the area of the larynx. For each group, or phase, is characterized by a certain set of symptoms:

  1. The clinical picture of the disease in the early stages of development expressed quite mild and manifested only by the presence of light shortness of breath and wheezing occurring in the lung area when performing minor physical activity.
  2. The second level is shown a little more clearly: shortness of breath disturbs the patient even in conditions of complete rest, in addition to the lung area clearly tapped dry rales. In some cases, there is shortness of breath.
  3. The third stage of disease is expressed quite clearly an attack of false croup in children and adults. Shortness of breath is more severe, due to a strong narrowing of the lumen of the respiratory system. In this regard manifest clearly the signs of incipient hypoxia: change the color of the skin, some disorientation in space, confusion, disruption of normal heart rhythm.

  4. The fourth stage of the disease is the most dangerous, because the absence in such cases of timely and adequate assistance can lead to death. This stage is characterized by the absence of additional symptoms, i.e., cough and wheezing, however, quickly develops asphyxia, that is, asthma.

Diagnostic methods

What false croup in children? This is a very dangerous disease, which is characterized by the rapid development of the clinical picture, i.e., the gradual deterioration of the condition of the child. In view of this fact medical assistance must be provided without delay.

Exactly this circumstance simplifies the methodology of diagnosing illness that involves action of the following nature:

  • The study of anamnesis of a sick child, is told by her parents. The approximate amount of time that has elapsed since the appearance of the first signs of illness is one of the most important things to take into account when assigning treatment.
  • External examination of the patient, assessment of the state of the mucous tissue of the larynx, listening to the breathing organs for the presence or absence of the characteristic rales.
  • Samples of fabrics and secret ill a subsequent number of laboratory studies aimed at identifying the true causative agent of croup.

True and false croup — is a variety of diseases, which are characterized by the manifestation of several similar symptoms. That is why, for the most correct diagnosis is necessary to conduct research in the laboratory.

First aid

In view of the rapid development of such diseases as false croup, the child should be immediately, because its absence can cause a number of very serious and dangerous consequences.

The first step is to let the child breathe the warm steam of a solution of alkali. To do this, add a few tablespoons of ordinary baking soda in a bucket or bowl of boiling water. This inhalation will help to improve expectoration of sputum, which will somewhat reduce the stenosis.

Next, you need to drink patient’s alkaline solution, which in a glass of warm water or milk should dissolve just a pinch of baking soda. Quite often, this drink is causing the child retching, which is a plus, because with vomit from the area of the larynx is eliminated a significant amount of viscous sputum.

What to do when false croup the child, if the stabilization of his condition? Even if the asthma attacks have stopped, the patient should immediately see a doctor, because in most cases a short-term improvement of health may be replaced by another asthma attack on the background of complete lack of stimuli.


How to treat false croup, and what methods are used at different stages of disease development? In order to make the most correct scheme of treatment, the specialist needs to conduct a series of studies aimed at the identification of pathogens that triggered the asthma attacks. After this selected antibiotic drugs, whose action is directed at the destruction of one or the other pathogenic organisms, as well as the removal of inflammation and edema of the larynx.

In acute attack of false croup require prompt intervention aimed at the elimination of laryngeal edema and providing patients with sufficient oxygen supply. This is typically achieved using aerosols and sprays for local action. In severe cases, surgical intervention is necessary, during which the windpipe interesuetsja a special tube, allowing the patient to breathe.

As for forecasting, the key to a full and successful treatment of false croup is timely treatment. In the case that the necessary measures have been taken in the early stages of the disease, the risk of complications and possible recurrence is eliminated almost completely.

If measures to address the main signs of the disease were initiated in the later stages, the risk of complications is very high. In the most severe cases may be fatal.

It is therefore necessary to pay special attention to any, even the most minor symptoms, which are characteristic of false croup and to take timely measures of an appropriate nature.