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randomised placebo controlled trial.
unclear allocation concealment.
blinded (patients and data analysts).
Follow up period:
7 days after treatment.
4 paediatric emergency departments (EDs) in Canada.
720 children (mean age 35 mo, 61% boys) with mild croup (onset of a seal like, barking cough in the previous 72 h and ⩽2 out of 17 points on a validated croup scoring system). Exclusion criteria included other respiratory disorders, severe systemic disease, immune dysfunction, corticosteroids within the previous 2 weeks, epinephrine for respiratory distress, and previous ED visit for this croup episode.
single oral dose of dexamethasone …
For correspondence: Dr D W Johnson, Child Health Research Group, Alberta’s Children’s Hospital, Calgary, Alberta, Canada.
Sources of funding: Canadian Institutes of Health Research; Alberta Children’s Hospital Foundation; Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario Research Institute; Stollery Children’s Hospital Foundation.