Croup admission decision making is challenging because the rate of further interventions after stabilization is unclear.
We sought to describe rates of inpatient racemic epinephrine (IRE) and additional inpatient airway interventions (IAI) (oxygen or heliox therapy, intubation, or transfer to an intensive care unit) among patients presenting to a tertiary children's hospital with croup.
This was a retrospective descriptive study including patients (3 months to 8 years of age) with an emergency department (ED)/inpatient encounter for croup from January 1, 2015 to December 31, 2016 at a tertiary children's hospital. We excluded intensive care unit direct admissions and patients with bronchiolitis/asthma/pneumonia. We compared 3 groups (a weighted random 5% sample of patients evaluated in ED only, and those admitted with or without IRE/IAI) using Kruskal-Wallis, Pearson χ2, or the Fischer exact test, where appropriate. We used multivariate analysis to compare demographics and preadmission racemic epinephrine (RE) with rates of IRE/IAI in admitted patients.
We included 588 patients (194 discharged from the ED, 394 admitted). In admitted patients, 20.8% (82/394) had IRE/IAI, most commonly IRE (20.0%, 79/394). Three admitted patients (0.76%) had IAI. Overall, patients with 2 outside hospital/ED doses of RE had a 12.1% rate of IRE/IAI (23.5% if ≥3 RE doses). Patients with ≥3 preadmission RE doses were more likely to have IRE/IAI compared with 2 RE (adjusted odds ratio = 2.08 [95% confidence interval 1.15–3.76]; p = 0.02); there were no other significant associations.
We found a low rate of IRE/IAI after ED management in patients with croup and no significant associations aside from preadmission RE doses. These findings may be considered in admission decisions.
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Published online: August 12, 2019
Accepted: June 8, 2019
Received in revised form: May 20, 2019
Received: February 11, 2019
Reprints are not available from the authors.
© 2019 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.