Recurrent croup and asthma

My sons aged 5 and 7 have suffered from severe recurrent croup since being babies with regular hospital admissions and dexamethasone steroid treatment. They haven't had a proper diagnosis of asthma however they are both on clenil and ventolin which I have no idea if the clenil is actually working because I find it hard to distinguish between an asthma attack and a croup attack now. Sometimes they don't have the barking croup cough and the ventolin settles the attack when struggling to breath but upon seeing the gp they says its the croup which just confuses me.

The croup/asthma is always brought on by a cold or virus and my oldest son has a constant cough which worsens if he is active or laughing. The cough has been so bad at times that his teacher has rang me to pick him up because hes disrupting the class.

I have no support from our gp or asthma nurse if I ask questions they say I need to ask the opposite person so I go back and forth between the two with no answers or management of it.

Does anyone elses child get croup alot? I feel mentally exhausted and have started to become irrational. I constantly worry and think they will die and lie awake at night wondering which one will wake up struggling to breathe and then.theres the mad dash to hospital. Even when.they are not ill I am anticipating them being ill so I never get any rest.

Its resulted in me having severe depression, amxiety and.panic attacks and I have given up my job as an accountant due to this and having so much time off.

I just don't know what to do to get this under control there doesn't seem to be a time when they are completely well.

5 Replies

  • Hi

    Do you know I have dealt with this for years with my son. Although he is asthmatic medical staff would often say its viral, he has croup. Then one day I arrived on the children's ward after phoning and saying we were on our way (he has open access) only to have the same thing said to me, its croup. We were sent home and told to return six hours later as the medication he was given needed to be given six hourly and had to be administered on the ward. I told the staff that his asthma can often sound like this but it then changes into more of a typical asthma cough and I was sure it was asthma.

    They were so convinced it was croup I accepted it (after all he has had croup in the last an the cough did sound croupy). So we went home, we were only home about 30mins when my son suddenly went into a full blown asthma and actually asked me to get him to hospital quickly, terrified we jumped in the car and drive back. The hospital staff were shocked and how quickly he had gone down hill and agreed it was an asthma attack he was having. The croup cough had gone!!! A few weeks later we saw a consultant from a another hospital as I wasn't happy with our own consultant care. I explained to her about him often sounding like he has croup and the fact that I was often fobbed off because of it. She said that he had a floppy airway and the reason his cough sounds like a bark is when he is really struggling and his airway is finding it hard to get any air out and you get this barking noise. I was so relived that finally someone understood what I was talking about and at least now I am able to tell other people why he is barking.

    I hope you get some answers for your son, it would definitely be worth mentioning this to someone because potential it could be so dangerous!

  • my son zak has been having croup since a baby along with chest infections he was diagnoised with asthma afther a life treating attack last year he is 4 now and in reception i would keep on for the longest time the docter would say we cant say for sure that its asthma but once he had a mayor attack they had no choice

  • Hi all,

    I am very interested to read your posts as we have been going through this since my 5 year old was 6 months!

    I hope you dont mind me saying that it is a relief/comforting that other people are having the same problems as we are as I was starting to feel like a fake and that it was in my imagination!

    Our son had his first croup attack at 6months. The GP (a very poor one) said to me 'it's croup, it lasts and hour' and sent me off. 2 days later he still had croup. Since then he has current every year normally in the colder months but as you know in this country this can last a long time. Every year we have been told that he will grow out of it. These episodes have become more and more difficult to manage and get better.

    2 Years ago september he started with a bad cough and still had it 3 months later. At this point they said it was Whooping cough and gave him and inhaler. 2 weeks later we had to take him to A&E as he had a croup attack. They were great and gave him the liquid steroids which was like a wonder drug on that occasion and he was a different child 20mins later. they also said to come straight in in future sio he can have this medicine. As time has gone on it is less and less effective and he has to have the tablet steroids as well.

    The inhalers didnt seem to make any difference with him, he had a croup attack anyway. A year ago we were referred to Paed clinic and this march he had an MLB to check for a narrowing of airways, this was ok. We back to Paed clinic who say he has a sensitive immune system, an ear infection lasts 4 weeks and 3 lots of antibiotics, and were also referred to asthma nurse.

    She has been fab and asked whether we had videoed him having his attack. I admitted that i had thought about it every time!! She asked for peak flows for 2 weeks and literally 2 days later he had another croup attack. I knew it was going to happen and had my phone ready to video him. His peak flow dropped to 60 over these days. He is on Clenil again now and we are due back on monday to see asthmas nurse. He had another croup attack sunday and is still poorly with it.

    How is eveyone getting on with it? Have you found any good ways of managing? Ours tend to happen when the weather is cold/damp, in the early morning, he coughs until he is sick and he has to have so much time off of school.

    Hope to hear from you

  • Hi! We're in the same boat back and forth to hospital with croup attacks, given nebuliser, dissolvable steroids, clenil, ventolin only for it to come back we're on night 7 now scared to go to sleep ?

  • My daughter is 9 and she gets this a lot, I am sick with worry it never seems to completely go away we are under specialist treatment but nothing seems to be working. She was fine up until a few years back a healthy normal life style, I am at the end of my teather. She has hay fever also that is hit and miss, I have purchased a air purifier/humidifier this makes no difference. Her breathing can be so bad that she can not even laugh at times its preventing her from doing activities with her friends and it just breaks my heart to watch her go threw it all. Her peak flow can be as low as 70 her tonsils are always inflamed and the go usually just send us away with steroids or nothing at all.

    I'm wondering if anyone has any idea on what I can do to help her and prevent her from catching these virus

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