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Dexamethasone reduced the incidence of children with mild croup who returned for medical care

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Q Does dexamethasone reduce the incidence of children with mild croup who return for medical care more than placebo?


Embedded ImageDesign:

randomised placebo controlled trial.

Embedded ImageAllocation:

unclear allocation concealment.

Embedded ImageBlinding:

blinded (patients and data analysts).

Embedded ImageFollow up period:

7 days after treatment.

Embedded ImageSetting:

4 paediatric emergency departments (EDs) in Canada.

Embedded ImagePatients:

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.

Embedded ImageIntervention:

single oral dose of dexamethasone …

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  • 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.