Assessment, diagnosis and treatment of children who present with stridor
Intended for healthcare professionals
Evidence and practice    

Assessment, diagnosis and treatment of children who present with stridor

Andriana Summers Doctor, emergency department, Airedale General Hospital, Airedale NHS Foundation Trust, Keighley, West Yorkshire, England

Why you should read this article:
  • To recognise the signs, symptoms and potential common and atypical causes of stridor in children

  • To understand how to identify and assess children with viral croup, the most common cause of stridor in this group

  • To enhance your knowledge of the evidence for the assessment criteria and treatment of children who present with viral croup

The presence of stridor in children signifies a partial obstruction in the upper airways, the cause of which may range from mild to life-threatening depending on aetiology. The most common causes of stridor in this population are laryngotracheobronchitis (viral croup) and foreign body aspiration.

This article gives an overview of the signs, symptoms and potential causes of stridor and the signs and symptoms of, and diagnostic criteria for, viral croup. The author also discusses evidence-based assessment criteria and treatments and criteria for admission or discharge. A case study is used for illustration.

Emergency Nurse. doi: 10.7748/en.2022.e2139

Peer review

This article has been subject to external double-blind peer review and checked for plagiarism using automated software


Conflict of interest

None declared

Summers A (2022) Assessment, diagnosis and treatment of children who present with stridor. Emergency Nurse. doi: 10.7748/en.2022.e2139

Published online: 09 November 2022

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