/kroohp/, n. Pathol.any condition of the larynx or trachea characterized by a hoarse cough and difficult breathing.[1755-65; n. use of croup to cry hoarsely (now dial.), b. CROAK and WHOOP]croup2/kroohp/, n.the highest part of the rump of a quadruped, esp. a horse. See diag. under horse.[1250-1300; ME croupe < MF, AF crupe, OF crope < Gmc; see CROP]
* * *Acute laryngeal inflammation and spasms in young children, with harsh cough, hoarseness, and difficulty breathing.Causes include infection, allergy, and physical irritation of the larynx. Viral croup, the most common, usually occurs before age 3. It can usually be treated at home with a cool mist vaporizer. Bacterial croup (epiglottitis) generally strikes between ages 3 and 7. Swelling of the epiglottis rapidly causes severe breathing and swallowing difficulty, requiring antibiotics and insertion of a breathing tube.
* * *acute respiratory illness of young children (childhood disease and disorder) characterized by a harsh cough, hoarseness, and difficult breathing, most often caused by an infection of the upper airway in the region of the larynx (voice box). Some cases result from allergy or physical irritation of the larynx. The symptoms are caused by inflammation of the laryngeal membranes and spasms of the laryngeal muscles.Viral infections are the most common cause of croup, the most frequent being those with the parainfluenza and influenza viruses. Such infections are most prevalent among children under the age of three years, and they strike most frequently in late fall and winter. Generally, the onset of viral croup is preceded by the symptoms of the common cold for several days. Most children with viral croup can be treated at home with the inhalation of mist from an appropriate vaporizer. Epinephrine (epinephrine and norepinephrine) and corticosteroids have also been used to reduce swelling of the airway. In cases of severe airway obstruction, hospitalization may be necessary.Bacterial croup, also called epiglottitis, is a more serious condition that is often caused by Haemophilus influenzae type B. It is characterized by marked swelling of the epiglottis, a flap of tissue that covers the air passage to the lungs and that channels food to the esophagus. The onset is usually abrupt, with high fever and breathing difficulties. Because of the marked swelling of the epiglottis, there is obstruction at the opening of the trachea (windpipe), making it necessary for the patient to sit and lean forward to maximize the airflow. Epiglottitis generally strikes children between the ages of three and seven years. Children with epiglottitis require prompt medical attention. An artificial airway must be opened, preferably by inserting a tube down the windpipe. Patients are given antibiotics (antibiotic), which generally relieve the inflammation within 24 to 72 hours. The occurrence of epiglottitis is decreasing in the Western world owing to an effective vaccine against H. influenzae.
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