A Randomized Trial of a Single Dose of Oral Dexamethasone for Mild Croup
Croup (acute laryngotracheobronchitis) is common, occurring yearly in 3 percent of children under six years of age.1 Less than 5 percent of such children are hospitalized, and of these, 1 to 2 percent receive endotracheal intubation.2 Corticosteroids are effective in moderate-to-severe croup, resulting in reductions in the frequency and duration of intubation3,4 and hospitalization5?7 and the frequency of administration of nebulized epinephrine,5,7 a treatment reserved primarily for severe respiratory distress. At least 60 percent of children who present for emergency care have mild symptoms (defined as the presence of a barking cough, no audible stridor at rest, . . .