immediate management

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  • admit immediately to hospital
  • don't examine throat - this is likely to provoke spasm and cause obstruction
  • minimise distress to the child - don't separate from parents or give antibiotics
  • contact the hospital so they can arrange a senior anaesthetist to intubate the patient and an ENT surgeon to perform a tracheostomy if needed
  • nebulised adrenaline can be used
  • go with the child to hospital if possible
  • be prepared to do an emergency laryngotomy in case of obstruction
  • when obstruction is imminent, stridor becomes ominously quieter

ref: H/B Emergencies in Gen Pract 2e 1997, N Lawrence et al

Last reviewed 01/2018