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The effectiveness of glucocorticoids in treating croup: meta-analysis

BMJ 1999; 319 doi: (Published 04 September 1999) Cite this as: BMJ 1999;319:595

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Effectiveness of glucocorticoids for croup

EDITOR, We have recently completed a paediatric research elective in
Geelong Hospital, Australia. The purpose of this placement was to audit
the management of childhood croup. We were therefore interested to read
the paper published on September 4th 1999 by Ausejo et al(1).

This paper, along with those that we analysed during our elective found
only limited reference to the use of prednisolone. However, our audit
revealed that 74% of those children with croup presenting to Geelong
Accident and
Emergency department received a dose of prednisolone as part of their
therapeutic management.

Additionally, our audit found that 38% of children were given a single
dose of prednisolone to take home, to be used only as necessary, after
receiving advice detailing suitable clinical indications for this. We were
unable to find any published literature evaluating this practice but it
appears to be routine procedure in Geelong. As our literature search was
more limited than that cited in the article, we were interested to know if
Ausejo et al came across data advocating this management. This appears to
be a good idea as our audit found very low readmission rates to Geelong
Hospital. However, as there is no quantitative data regarding this
practice, perhaps this could be an area suitable for further research.

Juliet Irving

Sally Hanna.

Final Year medical students, Birmingham University.

Home Address: 10 Tiverton Road,

Selly Oak,

Birmingham B29 6BP.

1 Ausejo M, Saenz A, Ba P, Kellner J, Johnson D, Moher D, Klassen T.
The effectiveness of glucocorticoids in treating croup: meta-analysis. BMJ

Competing interests: No competing interests

10 September 1999
Juliet Irving