This section of the book is from the "Household Companion: The Family Doctor" book
Croup is an inflammatory affection of the larynx and upper portions of the air-passages. It is peculiar to children males are more liable to it than females—and when one in a family suffers from the disease, the rest almost certainly have a tendency to it. The malady seldom occurs during the first year of life, but is most frequent in the second; at puberty the tendency to it ceases, although cases of genuine croup have occurred after that period. The rapidity with which croup at times progresses to a fatal termination, and the distressing character of the malady always render it a dreaded disease.
Croup may begin very suddenly. A child goes to bed to all appearance perfectly well, and in the course of two or three hours comes a cough which strikes even the most unobservant as peculiar, and which, falling upon the ear of the anxious parent who has ever heard it before, tells at once of danger. The child seems as if it coughed through a brazen tube. Perhaps at first the little invalid is not awakened, and, if now visited, is found flushed and fevered, moaning slightly, perhaps, and restless, the breathing slightly quickened; the cough comes again, the child awakes or is awakened: if it speaks the voice is hoarse; if it cries, hoarser still. Should the disease be neglected at this time, or go on uncontrolled, the cough, still retaining its peculiar character, becomes more frequent; the breathing, quickened, is also accompanied by the characteristic dry wheezing occasioned by narrowing of the passage through which the air is drawn.
Aconite, sudden attacks in night, high fever, child throws itself around. Hepar sul., worse in the morning, rattling cough but no raising of phlegm. Hoarse, dry, barking cough. Kali bichromicum, worse early in morning, the mucus in throat is very stringy, hard to remove. Spongia, hoarse, sawing sound and gets worse in the evening. Spasmodic cough that comes first suddenly in the night is not generally dan gerous; but a slight croupy cough at night, well the next day, and reappearing the next night is always dangerous, liable to result in membranous croup. Benninghausens' treatment. Aconite, Hepar sul. and Spongia in alternation or rotation has proved very successful in many cases. A very efficient help is a cold damp compress not too wet, well covered up and changed as often as it gets warm or dry. The remedies at first cap be often repeated. Kali bichromicum had better be given the second or third decimal trituration. The other remedies act better higher.