(Pseudo-) Krupp - fright in the night?

Parents who have had a Krupp attack with dyspnea in their child will not forget that quickly. And of course they are afraid of a new appearance. Here's how you can help your child quickly with a seizure. What's real about real Krupp and wrong pseudo-group? Or do both terms denote the same thing? There is a real confusion about the Krupp.

The explanation

The so-called real Krupp is a severe form of diphtheria, in which especially the larynx is affected. Due to mucosal swelling, there is a constriction of the tracheal entrance with shortness of breath and suffocation, accompanied by violent, barking cough.

The term pseudo-croup - which means "wrong" Krupp - was developed to distinguish the nocturnal respiratory distress in children from the described diphtheria-Krupp. Thanks to early vaccinations already in infancy, diphtheria has almost disappeared today. So that the pseudo-group is now often referred to as Krupp or Krupp syndrome.

What is pseudo-group?

Pseudokrupp is a disease in which the mucous membrane of the larynx becomes inflamed and usually swells strongly below the vocal cords. It is particularly common in infants aged 18 months to six years. At this age, the laryngeal gap is still very narrow and the mucous membrane is particularly sensitive to acute inflammation. The swelling makes the gap even narrower and threatens to close.

The pseudo-group is usually triggered by cold viruses. That is why it occurs especially in the cold-intensive seasons of autumn and winter. Environmental influences such as wet and cold weather, air pollution and passive smoking additionally favor the disease. Rarely, it can also be an allergic cause, or there are bacteria involved.

Which symptoms occur?

A seizure is often preceded by a simple cold. When it comes to a Kruppanfall, this happens very suddenly and without warning signs; mostly at night. The child is attacked by a violent, barking cough, his voice is hoarse, the inhalation clearly difficult. The breath sounds rattling, hissing or whistling.

The child has shortness of breath to suffocation fears and is therefore very restless. This restlessness increases the anyway reduced oxygen uptake. Due to the lack of oxygen, lips and fingernails may turn blue and a general pallor may occur.

First aid in the attack

  • Take her child in her arms, calm down and weigh her.
  • Go with him to the open window or on the balcony (even in winter).
  • Do not allow the child to breathe dry dusty air (turn off the heater). Better is cool air; it causes the mucous membranes to swell down. For example, run cold water in the shower or hang wet towels in the nursery.
  • The child should drink a lot (sips of water at room temperature).
  • Store with slightly raised upper body.
  • If available, give the medications prescribed by the doctor (for example, corticosteroids or epinephrine spray).

When to the doctor?

In a slight Kruppanfall with the measures mentioned will soon be an improvement. If this was the first seizure, you should soon make an appointment with your doctor to get ready for a possible next seizure with emergency medications. Children who once had a Kruppanfall, also tend to others.

In severe attacks, if there is still shortness of breath despite the use of cortisone, they must call an ambulance.

What complications can occur?

The pseudo-squad is usually harmless. However, it may spread to the middle ear, trachea or lungs. Additional bacterial colonization can cause pneumonia.

Can you prevent Kruppan cases?

As a general measure, you should pay attention to a healthy and balanced diet and exercise your child's immune system by exercising in the open air. In children who have had seizures more often, emergency medications should always be in the house.

Good prevention can also be achieved with a humidifier that keeps the air humid during the cold period. Parents should also be careful not to smoke in the apartment.

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