membranous croup

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a condition resulting from acute partial obstruction of the upper airway, seen mainly in infants and young children; characteristics include resonant barking cough, hoarseness, and persistent stridor. It may be caused by a viral infection (usually a parainfluenzavirus), a bacterial infection (usually Staphylococcus aureus, Streptococcus pneumoniae, or Streptococcus pyogenes,) an allergy, a foreign body, or a tumor.
bacterial croup (membranous croup) (pseudomembranous croup) bacterial tracheitis.
Miller-Keane Encyclopedia and Dictionary of Medicine, Nursing, and Allied Health, Seventh Edition. © 2003 by Saunders, an imprint of Elsevier, Inc. All rights reserved.

membranous croup

Inflammation of the larynx with exudation forming a false membrane. Synonym: croupous laryngitis


Symptoms include those of laryngitis: loss of voice; noisy, difficult, and stridulous breathing; weak, rapid pulse; livid skin; and moderate fever.


Several viruses may cause this disease. These include parainfluenza, respiratory syncytial virus, and various influenza viruses.


Antibiotics are indicated only if there is secondary bacterial infection; corticosteroids are of no benefit. If hypoxia is present, inhalation of a 40% concentration of well-humidified oxygen is indicated. This is best accomplished by a face mask.

See also: croup
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