Bacterial tracheitis

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    Bacterial infection of the trachea in children, occurring as a complication of a previous viral infection (croup, influenza, measles, etc.).

    Clinical features

    • Fever in a critically ill appearing child a Citation a. Critically ill appearing child: weak grunting or crying, drowsiness, difficult to arrouse, does not smile, unconjugate or anxious gaze, pallor or cyanosis, general hypotonia. .
    • Stridor, cough and respiratory distress.
    • Copious purulent secretions.
    • As opposed to epiglottitis the onset of symptoms is gradual and the child prefers to lie flat.
    • In severe cases there is a risk of complete airway obstruction, especially in very young children.

    Treatment

    • Suction purulent secretions.
    • Insert a peripheral IV line and provide IV hydration.
    • Antibiotherapy:
      ceftriaxone slow IV b Citation b. For administration by IV route, ceftriaxone powder should to be reconstituted in water for injection only. For administration by IV infusion, dilute each dose of ceftriaxone in 5 ml/kg of 0.9% sodium chloride or 5% glucose in children less than 20 kg and in a bag of 100 ml of 0.9% sodium chloride or 5% glucose in children over 20 kg and in adults. (3 minutes) or IV infusion (30 minutes). Do not administer by IM route (may agitate the child and precipitate a respiratory arrest).
      Children: 50 mg/kg once daily
      Adults: 1 g once daily
      +
      cloxacillin IV infusion (60 minutes)
      Children less than 12 years: 25 to 50 mg/kg every 6 hours
      Children 12 years and over and adults: 2 g every 6 hours
      The IV treatment is administered for at least 5 days then, if the clinical condition has improved c Citation c. Improvement criteria include: fever reduction, diminished respiratory distress, improved SpO2, improved appetite and/or activity. and oral treatment can be tolerated, change to :
      amoxicillin/clavulanic acid (co-amoxiclav) PO to complete 7 to 10 days of treatment, as in epiglottitis.
    • If the event of complete airway obstruction, intubation if possible or emergency tracheotomy.

     

    Footnotes
    • (a)Critically ill appearing child: weak grunting or crying, drowsiness, difficult to arrouse, does not smile, unconjugate or anxious gaze, pallor or cyanosis, general hypotonia.
    • (b)For administration by IV route, ceftriaxone powder should to be reconstituted in water for injection only. For administration by IV infusion, dilute each dose of ceftriaxone in 5 ml/kg of 0.9% sodium chloride or 5% glucose in children less than 20 kg and in a bag of 100 ml of 0.9% sodium chloride or 5% glucose in children over 20 kg and in adults.
    • (c)Improvement criteria include: fever reduction, diminished respiratory distress, improved SpO2, improved appetite and/or activity.