nursing upright in respiratory congestion

Last reviewed 01/2018

Childhood URTI's create congestion of the nose, throat, larynx and trachaea which is helped by the gravitational effect of nursing the patient upright

A child with cough, croup or coryza is usually more distressed by congestion when laid down and is helped naturally by being picked up - probably the single most useful thing the parent of a distressed child can do

It is always helpful to reassure parents that, upsetting though it is, the demands of an ill child are likely to have produced the most appropriate response from parents who have therefore done all that is necessary for simple URTI's

Patients with asthma, chest infection or pulmonary oedema are also less congested and so less dyspnoeic when propped upright but clearly other treatment is also required