- A respiratory problem that occurs mainly in children, particularly from 2 to 4 years of age, due to an infection of the respiratory tree — the larynx (voice box), the trachea (windpipe), and the bronchial tubes. The symptoms of croup include a cough that sounds like a barking seal and a harsh crowing sound when the child is inhaling. A low-grade fever (around 100° to 101°) is common. The child may become very frightened. The major concern in croup is breathing difficulty as the air passages narrow. Croup is most often caused by a virus, less often by a bacteria. Treatment includes moist air, saline (salt water) nose drops, decongestants, cough suppressants, pain medication, fluids, and occasionally antibiotics. Close monitoring of the breathing of a child with croup is valuable, especially at night when croup usually gets worse. Croup may last up to a week. Each night tends to be better than the last. While most children recover from croup without hospitalization, some children can develop trouble breathing that is life-threatening. Therefore, staying in close contact with the doctor during this illness is important. The word "croup" is one of the few in general use worldwide in medicine that came from Denmark. It is from the Danish "hropja" which sounds like a croupy child trying to get air in and out of
* * *1. Acute obstruction of upper airway in infants and children characterized by a barking cough with difficult and noisy respiration. 2. Laryngotracheobronchitis in infants and young children caused by parainfluenza viruses 1 and 2. [Scots, probably from A.S. kropan, to cry aloud]
* * *croup 'krüp n inflammation, edema, and subsequent obstruction of the larynx, trachea, and bronchi esp. of infants and young children that is typically caused by a virus and is marked by episodes of difficult breathing and hoarse metallic coughcroup·ous 'krü-pəs adj
* * *n.acute inflammation and obstruction of the respiratory tract, involving the larynx and the main air passages (trachea and bronchi), in young children (usually aged between six months and three years). The usual cause is a virus infection but bacterial secondary infection can occur. The symptoms are those of laryngitis, accompanied by signs of obstruction - harsh difficult breathing (see stridor), a characteristic barking cough, a rising pulse rate, restlessness, and cyanosis. Treatment is by reassurance and humidification of the inspired air. In severe cases the obstruction may require treatment by steroid nebulizers, intubation, or tracheostomy. See also epiglottitis.
* * *(krp) a condition resulting from acute partial obstruction of the upper airway, seen mainly in infants and children; characteristics include resonant barking cough, hoarseness, and persistent stridor. It may be caused by a viral infection (usually a parainfluenza virus), a bacterial infection (usually Staphylococcus aureus, Streptococcus pneumoniae, or Streptococcus pyogenes), an allergy, a foreign body, or new growth. See also laryngotracheobronchitis. croupous, croupy adj
Medical dictionary. 2011.