Croup is formally titled acute laryngotracheobronchitis, but that’s a less catchy name.

It’s a viral upper respiratory tract infection that affects the larynx and trachea. It primarily occurs in children under 5 years old.


Croup attacks kids, so the acronym for symptoms must be in the appropriate theme.


  • Coryzal prodrome
  • Hoarse voice
  • Inspiratory stridor
  • Like a barking seal cough
  • Difficulty breathing


  • Single-dose corticosteroids of any of the following:
    • Dexamethasone orally
    • Prednis(ol)one orally
    • Nebulised budesonide


  • Single-dose nebulised adrenaline if severe
    • Repeat after 30 minutes if no improvement
    • Observe for 4 hours after administration
    • ICU review if ineffective


  1. Croup. In: eTG complete [Internet]. Melbourne: Therapeutic Guidelines Limited (eTG November 2017 edition); 2017 Nov.

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