Study objective: To identify patients with croup who after treatment with nebulized racemic epinephrine, oral dexamethasone, and mist may be safely discharged home after a period of observation.
Design: Prospective interventional.
Setting: Urban children's hospital emergency department.
Participants: Children with croup who received racemic epinephrine for the treatment of stridor at rest.
Interventions: After treatment with .5 mL racemic epinephrine, .6 mg/kg dexamethasone PO, and mist, patients who were assessed as being safe for discharge after 3 hours of observation were discharged home and contacted for 48-hour follow-up.
Results: Fifty-five patients with croup were treated with racemic epinephrine. Thirty patients (55%) had sustained responses and were discharged home after 3 hours of observation. No recurrence of respiratory distress and no return visits for medical care were reported (95% confidence interval, 0% to 8.0%).
Conclusion: Patients with croup who are treated with racemic epinephrine, oral dexamethasone, and mist may be safely discharged home if the patient is assessed as ready for discharge after 3 hours of observation.