Disease Paper: Croup
There are many things that parents can do to prevent infection in their children. Hand washing is one of the most important ways to prevent infections (James & Ashwill, 2007). However, even if parents do everything that they can, infections can still develop. Respiratory infections are common in infants and children (James & Ashwill, 2007, 605). Young children may have more serious risks involved because their immune systems are not as strong and the respiratory airways are smaller and are more easily obstructed by mucous and edema (James & Ashwill). There are different types of respiratory diseases that children may face, including croup. Throughout this paper, the definition, causes, signs and symptoms, treatments, complications, and expected patient outcomes of croup will be discussed.
Croup is a respiratory infection that affects children between six months and five years of age (James & Ashwill, 2007).In most cases, a virus called parainfluenza is the cause for the development of most types of croup. However, the acute spasmodic croup has does not have a known cause (James & Ashwill, 2007). The edema and secretions related to the infection cause the tracheal airway to become obstructed and narrowed. This narrowing can make it extremely difficult to move air in and out of the lungs. “This infection causes inflammation of the larynx, trachea, bronchi, bronchioles, and lung tissue” (Schiffman, MD, 2008). Damage because of the inflammation becomes present, which increases the amount of effort it takes to breathe. Croup is contagious and is spread by any contact with infected airborne/settled droplets (James & Ashwill, 2007). Once exposed to the infection, symptoms may start to show in two- three days and can last up to three to four days. (Schiffman, MD)
The signs and symptoms of each type of croup are similar. A “hoarse, barking, spasmodic cough that gets worse in the night time” is characteristic of croup. Stridors on inspiratory and...