Respiratory emergencies in children

Respir Care. 2003 Mar;48(3):248-58; discussion 258-60.


Acute obstructive respiratory emergencies in children are a common cause of emergency department visits. The severity of these conditions ranges from mild, self-limited disease to life-threatening forms of rapidly progressive airway obstruction. A high index of suspicion is necessary for prompt diagnosis and treatment. This review discusses general principles of assessing and managing respiratory emergencies in children, as well as clinical characteristics and treatment of specific conditions such as croup, epiglottitis, bacterial tracheitis, retropharyngeal abscess, foreign bodies, and inhalational injuries.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Acute Disease
  • Child
  • Emergency Service, Hospital
  • Emergency Treatment / methods
  • Emergency Treatment / standards*
  • Humans
  • Pediatrics / methods
  • Pediatrics / standards*
  • Radiography
  • Respiratory Therapy / methods
  • Respiratory Therapy / standards*
  • Respiratory Tract Diseases / classification
  • Respiratory Tract Diseases / diagnosis
  • Respiratory Tract Diseases / diagnostic imaging
  • Respiratory Tract Diseases / therapy*
  • United States