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<< Management of Airway Obstruction and Stridor in Pediatric Patients (Pharmacology CME)

Etiology and Epidemiology

Croup

Acute stridor in children is most often secondary to an infectious etiology, with croup being the most common cause. It is estimated that croup is the cause of 15% of respiratory tract infections in children.17 Croup primarily affects children aged 6 months to 3 years, with a peak annual incidence of 5% at 2 years of age. Boys are approximately 1.5 times more likely to be affected by croup than girls. Most cases of croup are viral, with parainfluenza 1 and 3 being the most common agents; however, a variety of viruses have been identified, including influenza A.5 Of those children presenting to the ED with croup, approximately 8% will be admitted to the hospital and < 1% will be admitted to the intensive care unit (ICU).18

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